The summer holidays are drawing to a close and while no one enjoys the end of a holiday, a new study has revealed that 50% of children are now “dreading” going back to school in September. What about back to work blues; if they’re effecting you, can PR help you get over these?
The research, conducted by Explore Learning, showed that 56% of the children questioned would struggle to get back into their routine and 50% were worried about the early mornings. And it’s not just the kids who are(n’t) alright. According to recent research commissioned by car hire booking company, Auto Europe, almost the same amount (57 percent) of British workers feel depressed, deflated or demotivated when they return to work, too.
But just as holidays are a vital way to recharge the batteries and reflect on the past year, so returning to work can be a great time to re-focus your rejuvenated energies on your business to ensure it prospers. It offers the opportunity to build upon your hard work of the previous season and set off, on a new business journey.
How best to start? Unlike advertising, Public Relations (PR) is often overlooked by business owners or management/leadership teams. However, it can be incredibly valuable to a growing business as regular PR activity – run as an ongoing campaign – will assist in building general awareness and success of your service, product, or brand. And unlike holidays, public relations is great for your bottom line. It is more cost effective than advertising, and its advantages may be a lot more significant, too. An excellent article in a newspaper or trade publication may lead to your story getting through to prospects and a significant rise in sales as people are far more likely to trust editorial content (covered by the journalist) than a placed advertisement.
Additionally, the visibility from such a campaign can make your company look more established and larger than it is — something that can assist you in securing new customers, and partnerships, even funding. Finally, an online unique PR content will help drive your SEO, putting you closer to – if not on – that front page of search.
Here’s five reasons to spend this term’s lunch money on PR:
You have a great story to tell
Your customers are buying your story as much as your product or service, so you need to define a unique angle in order to stand out from your competitors. Ask yourself: What are our values? What exactly is our company culture? What makes us different from our competitors? Are we doing something that no one else is doing? What makes us, ‘us’? It’s important to define those answers and incorporate your identity, values and culture in every aspect of your startup. Once you’ve got that, you now need to refine and share it across multiple mediums; a blog, social media, and the media.
You’re seeing your competitors everywhere
While this can be frustrating, it’s also a great sign. It means that there’s an audience that’s interested in your industry, and they’re primed to hear your story.
You’re ready to be more social
If you’re looking to establish your identity and build credibility in your industry, share your story and position your CEO as a thought leader and pioneer, you’ll need to dedicate time to be more social, directly engage with your followers, answer questions, share information and include them in the conversation.
You work better with others
Hiring a PR firm doesn’t mean going hands-off. You are an integral part of the process; you know your business better than anyone else; maybe you just need some help to tell that story. If you enjoy working with others and brainstorming ideas, would welcome some independent input and creative ideas (and don’t mind taking advice, maybe even open to being challenged at times, from an experienced external team), you’re ready to start developing your PR strategy.
You’re in it for the long-haul
Gaining press coverage seldom happens overnight, it’s a ongoing process that requires commitment and focus (hard work…) on both sides. That’s why it’s important to have an understanding of what your short-term and long-term goals are before getting started. Map out a plan – perhaps six-to-twelve months – with specific goals along the way.
It might not initially be as enticing as a lazy soak in a pool under a blue sky, or a surf in the waves, but good PR can boost your business, not only financially but also in terms of your brand, attracting investors, hiring great employees, and attracting and retaining long-term customers. So if we’ve convinced you to get over the back to school – and work – blues by adding a spark of PR inspiration to your business this autumn, give Firework a call…
Gail Titchener, Chief Writing Officer
Follow us @FireworkPR