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PR 101: Don’t forget your backyard

PR 101: Don’t forget your backyard

In light of the changing PR landscape, it’s easy to focus on the new and exciting social media options available. While I would be the last to dispute that social media offers great value to a PR program, I think it’s important to find ways to promote your business in your own backyard.

Getting out in the community and speaking about topics that relate to your industry may seem old school, but I have seen it produce measurable results. New clients, referrals and increased brand recognition are all possible when you have the opportunity to connect on a more intimate level.

Even if you don’t see tangible results immediately, be assured that you’re establishing credibility among your target audience. One speaking engagement could lead to another or could simply result in casual dinner conversation: “I heard a presentation from the owner of Bob’s Service at my Rotary Club meeting today. You should give them a call.”

Getting started is simple. Give some thought to the topics that you’d feel comfortable addressing, then identify the types of organizations that align well with your areas of expertise. You may want to consider service clubs, professional groups or church groups. Also, you need to develop a piece of collateral that says who you are, why you’re a qualified speaker and what topics you’re available to discuss.

More than generating leads, developing a community presence is about building your brand. If you take the time to share your expertise with others, your will be remembered by your audience when they need your company’s services. Establishing a community presence can be a slow burn, but it pays off in the long-term.