Most businesses want to find a way to leverage the power of publicity. But before you click the “send” button on that email with your press release, you need to quiz yourself on your marketing readiness. For example:
Do my employees understand the company brand, mission and vision?
- Has sales training been conducted?
- Is our website user-friendly?
- Are our print marketing materials consistent with the website?
- Are our electronic marketing materials consistent with our print materials?
- Do we have a method to acquire leads and convert them into prospects?
- Do we have a way to measure ROI (return on investment)?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, I’d say you have done your homework and are well on your way to marketing success. On the other hand, if you answered “no” to two or more of these questions, you need to create a more comprehensive marketing strategy before telling everybody who you are and what you do.
Marketing and PR go together
Gone are the days when a company sold itself just using radio, TV, billboards and newspapers. While those mediums are still relevant depending on the audience and the message, email, the Internet and social media have drastically changed the world of marketing and public relations.
Bottom line: If your messages aren’t consistent across all these communication platforms, and the look and feel of your marketing and PR themes aren’t the same, you will come across as disjointed or inconsistent. While marketing is sales-based and public relations is image-based, both elements need to be integrated into your business promotions.
It’s critical that employees grasp this. When they understand the service you provide, the products you offer and their role in delivering them to customers, they will not only support the external marketing and publicity efforts, they will also complement them. Employees who are loyal to what you stand for and clear on how they contribute to the company’s success make the best salespeople.
Alignment isn’t just for cars
Will any of your employees be assigned to work trade shows, to serve as a community liaison, or to represent the company at sponsorship events? If so, they will be much more effective brand ambassadors if they are in sync with your company’s marketing strategy. Aligning employees with your strategy is much easier when it’s implemented consistently throughout the organization.
Increasing employee understanding and enthusiasm for your brand can be done in a number of ways, including frequent communications about the company’s operational goals and achievements, team-building exercises, and incentive campaigns.
So before you shoot off that first news release, be sure you’ve integrated your company’s marketing and PR efforts and messages — and that your employees are as ready for your company’s big debut as you are.
About the Author: Tara Michelle Hustedde is president and founder of Pure Public Relations & Marketing in Scottsdale, Ariz. For more than 15 years, she has guided nonprofits, small business, startups and a host of women-owned businesses on a path toward public and media relations success by helping them tell their story to those who need to hear it most through strategic media and public relations efforts. For more information, logon to www.pureprinc.com, call (480) 256-0265 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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