Wednesday, July 20, 2011

So You Want Exposure

In the public relations and marketing business, your number one goal is to increase visibility and exposure. Why you ask? Because the more visibility and exposure your company has, the more people know about your company and the more likely it is your business will increase. It's pretty simple math really but some small businesses, in particular, whose owners might have little experience with public relations and marketing don't understand the value. They don't understand that the wider they cast the net, the more likely they are to increase their business. Small businesses are often the ones that struggle with gaining enough exposure to grow. The reason is they are small and don't use key techniques to spread the word they exist. If you are a small business, here are some important things you can do to increase your visibility and hence your exposure.

1. Always network and make your company known. Networking in the post recession world is probably the most important technique you can use to win business when businesses are being very careful with each dollar spent. Gone are the days when businesses could risk a little money on a faceless company. The wagons have been circled around those business people they know and trust.

2. Because other members of the "club" want to support their own, also make sure you show up. Don't do a hit and run, thinking that you've networked this once now you're golden. You have to join the "club," meaning you are committed and you keep coming -- and the business will follow. This is called personal exposure. The networking groups knows you personally and over time, members understand what it is your company does. It takes up to 10 impressions for people to actually remember what your company is about.

3. Go bigger and wider with a public relations campaign. You can only effectively network in about a 100-mile radius from your home base. A public relations campaign where your practitioner works on placement of real stories about your company, product or service is superior to an ad in terms of increasing your visibility and exposure. A story about your company gives you more credibility than a paid advertisement. The bigger the circulation or audience of the media, the more visibility the greater the exposure. Now more people in your region who didn't know about you before or more people nationally who have never heard about you, have heard about you. Nothing can help a company go national than an effective national PR campaign. Last year, a feature ran on 3L Publishing in Success Magazine, and as a result, we gained three new national clients. Now we have clients in Pennsylvania, Florida, Colorado, Georgia and more.

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