Public Relations – How to use PR to improve your company’s Image

Public Relations (Or PR) is one of the least understood, least utilized and most powerful tools for an individual or business. Yes indeed, with PR one’s business can be completely destroyed or sent into the stratosphere of success. While PR may be the last thing on the mind of a small business owner, it should be amongst the top of his considerations.

Before we continue let’s define PR: “The methods and activities employed to establish and promote a favorable relationship with the public.”

A company which is liked and well respected attracts business, whereas a business which is despised will loose business and struggle. With that said, all it takes is some creativity and energy in order to boost your image and reputation in the public. Here are a couple things you can do to achieve this.

Volunteer Work

One of the best activities to boost PR is getting out into the community and doing volunteer work. Usually the simplest way to go about it is to do what you do best (whatever products and services your company is known for) and provide those free of charge to various organizations or groups.

For example if your business was a pizza parlor then it would be very appropriate to provide free pizzas to children at orphanages. Or, if you owned a lawn maintenance company, you could provide free maintenance services to disabled veterans. You could even take it further and offer apprenticeships and training for juvenile delinquents (on your business’s area of expertise) at correctional facilities.

However it doesn’t always have to centered around the products/services which your company specializes in. It could be general volunteer work, such as your staff getting together to clean up a dirty park/play ground. There is a myriad of possibilities.

With every goodwill action you do, you must document it (with photos, video, and statements/testimonials), and subsequently issue a press release, showing the good works your company is doing.

By engaging in said philanthropic activities it not only makes people aware of your company but shows them that you care and are doing something about it. Remember that it is not enough just to go around and do good deeds. You must also promote them widely by using press releases and other channels.

Warning

Anyone engaging in PR must know and heed the following admonishment, and that is to never tell a lie in any publication (whether it be a press release, interview, promo piece, etc). Any amount of positive PR can be ruined if it is discovered that you had lied. Therefore, stay on the safe side; stick to the facts and keep it real.