Published on April 27, 2016, at 11:40 a.m.
by Kenzie Winn.
Imagine that you are starting a new business. From limited budgets to attracting a new audience, the amount of planning that goes into starting a company is extraordinary.
One of the most crucial decisions that could potentially make or break your company is deciding whether to invest in public relations.
While many argue that it depends on the size of your company, others feel there is no better time than the beginning to make your mark in the eyes of the public.
Nance Kalter, the owner of Mama’s — Architecture, Design, Management (MAD’M), has experienced firsthand the benefits that come alongside building a brand that appeals to those in your respective field of work.
“I chose a simple communications strategy when I began Mama’s — Architecture, Design, Management (MAD’M) because of my primary target audience,” said Kalter. “My company works tirelessly with clients around the community in which I live, giving my business a good ‘homegrown’ reputation. Luckily, I have awesome connections around my hometown of Berkeley, California, and my public relations strategy was boosted mostly by word of mouth.”
Kalter began by hiring a communications specialist. Together they defined their target audience, posted advertisements on social media and contacted media outlets. Sooner rather than later, Kalter reaped the benefits of brand advocates who spread her brand by word of mouth.
“It began slowly, but within six months I had calls from friends, neighbors and strangers wanting a consultation,” said Kalter. “The return on investment was more successful than I could have imagined.”
Furthermore, Guy Kawasaki recently argued that public relations is the way to get the most bang for your marketing buck.
“Brands are built on what people are saying about you, not what you’re saying about yourself,” said Kawasaki. “People say good things about you when a) you have a great product and b) you get people to spread the word about it.”
As true as this may be, another factor to consider is how competitive your market may be.
Phil Winn, the president of Atlanta Computer Group, said his company’s public relations fuels itself through its low prices.
“What is key is knowing exactly who your consumers are and where the competition is,” said Winn. “As far as my public relations strategies, I really don’t have any. My company deals with selling refurbished ATMs, which allows the prices to do a lot of the marketing for us. When customers constantly search for the lowest prices, the marketing strategies speak for themselves.”
Whether you decide to hire a public relations firm, or simply employ a specialist, your investment should yield a positive return. As with most things in life, you find that you get what you pay for. All in all, your reputation and money are valuable. Take care of them.