The Low-Cost Tool to Improve Your Image
How can you stretch your marketing dollars and bolster your image within your community? Publicity – which falls under the purview of public relations – is the process by which your company name gets out in the public, but you don’t have to pay for it from your advertising budget.
The tools of publicity are wide-ranging, including interviews with newspaper, television or radio programs, as well as sending out media releases and alerts on industry news, seasonal tips or other important topics. You can speak to local civic groups and at community education seminars. Or write how-to articles for local publications.
The best tip is to build relationships with local media so that they’ll think of you when they need an expert. And, yes, you are an expert. If you’ve been running a contracting business and serving customers, you know lots of inside scoop and secrets of the trade that others would be glad to learn more about. And if you’ve got the communication skills to explain your insight in a few key phrases, you’ll be a help to the media (and their viewers/readers) as you establish yourself as a go-to source.
Often, publicity is used to “promote” a particular service or product. Promote is in quotation marks because that’s the end result you are seeking, but not the method for your pursuit. Instead, you are offering advice and counsel.
For example, when extreme temperatures are causing stress on heating and cooling equipment, homeowners want to know how to save energy. During severe weather, they’ll be interested in protecting electronic equipment from lightning surges. Or during drought conditions, water conservation begins by repairing plumbing leaks. These are examples of topics where contractors can offer advice, even as this advice ties to your own products and services.