Presenting a keynote speech at a conference for veterinarians I did one time, I shared my personal branding message. In making my presentation as relevant to them as possible I talked about an event I worked on a number of years ago which was Scruffs – a Big Day out for Dogs, for the NSW Animal Welfare League. Apart from the animal connection I used this example to highlight the importance of public relations to building your personal brand and growing an independent practice.
For any consultant or small business owner, word of mouth is a very powerful public relations tool and an ideal way to build your personal brand. One of the best ways of generating it is through publicity. Publicity is getting free editorial coverage in newspapers or magazines or being talked about on radio or television.
It is very effective when it happens – they say publicity is seven times more effective than advertising.
The terms public relations and publicity are often integrated. Publicity is only one function of public relations. It is media coverage; news stories, feature articles, radio talk show interviews, television appearances, editorials and reviews.
Publicity can be gained through effective media relations such as media releases or news conferences; press kits, press tours and personal emails or phone calls to editors and journalists.
Public relations, includes a variety of tactics that strengthen your credibility, enhance your image or influence public opinion. These tactics such as speeches, special events, networking, promotional activities, product launches and product give-aways; sponsorship, newsletters, social media relations, plus publicity articles and media releases are targeted to an audience. PR is communicating who you are, what you do, why you do it, and how you make a difference.
Most large businesses even those with substantial marketing and advertising budgets devote considerable resources to public relations because they realise it is one of the best and most cost-effective ways for them to attract customers and increase their business. Small businesses should look at the benefits of PR and positive media coverage because it can:
Increase demand for your products or services
Gain an edge over your competitors
Enhance your credibility, prestige and personal brand
Get your message across without the expense of advertising
Create goodwill in your community
To ensure the success of your public relations campaign, PR objectives should be clearly defined and developed as part of the overall marketing strategy. The best results will be obtained through a coordinated approach to all your marketing, advertising, social and public relations activity. Your key messages, information and branding should be included on all your marketing and PR collateral.
Often public relations is an afterthought to an overall marketing campaign and can represent only a small percentage of the overall budget but it can work very well and produce tremendous results. It won’t always help increase sales but it can generate public goodwill, enhance reputation and image, create product awareness and help to build the overall business or personal brand.
By the way I also shared with my veterinary group about how I used my work on Scruffs when I ran a public relations consultancy to raise my own personal profile. I entered my work into the Public Relations Institute Awards of Excellence and won Special Event Communication. I’d say a positive result and great way to help build a personal brand.
I offer a personalised coaching service to help you build your personal brand with a PR plan being one aspect. We look internally at the brand you are currently communicating, what you’d like to project and how to do that visually, verbally and gain visibility. Click here for a brief summary.
If you would like more information on how to build your profile through public relations download a free copy of the eBook The Power of Personal Public Relations.
Sue Currie is a personal branding specialist providing solutions to business owners and organisations to boost their image, renown, brand and business. She is the founder of Shine Academy™, providing education and professional development training and Shine Agency™ a firm providing personal branding and public relations services to help businesses and entrepreneurs position and present an impactful professional brand. Through speaking, corporate workshops, and consulting, Sue helps businesses and individuals to stand out and shine.