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5 Ways to Maintain Positive Public Relations

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Public Relations can help your company in many ways, including saving your company money. Public relations can drastically help a company; before a company needs to use advertising, it can try to generate publicity, use public relations, and getting involved online. Here are 5 tips for getting involved, saving money, and maintaining your company's PR on your own.

  1. Get the word out yourself. There are a numerous ways to do this: press releases, news releases, Twitter, FaceBook, LinkedIn, etc. Let people know when there is some news to share.
  2. Get involved. For example, get involved in forums (but not only when there is something said about you). Try getting involved when you have something of value that you can add/share with the community. This can help establish you as a real person who isn't online to only promote a product or service, but also there to help others. Let the people who know about your products get involved too; they ought to be able to answer questions and give feedback. If you feel more comfortable having a OPR professional get involved instead, make sure they talk to the people who know most about the company or area of interest from an outside party. (In addition to getting the right answers to people, ensure that they are not releasing important information, and ensure that everyone is on the same page.)
  3. Stay involved. This simple (though time consuming) act can be the difference between lots sales, bad publicity, or lost customers. Once you've done the above and gotten involved, keep it up.
  4. Stay aware. Keep track of things that are said about you and your company online and respond. This can help avoid some crisis that may affect your company simply by responding to a rumor or customer problem. Doing the above can help in this area: when you find something said about you on a forum or a question that you should address, do so. With the credibility your involvement has created from the above steps, your answers or responses may be well accepted and much appreciated from your customers.
  5. Be available. When something like a crisis arises or media has some questions, be responsive and available. Again, this can be the difference between a sale, a lost customer, etc.
If you find that these are too time consuming and something you would rather not risk messing up, look into hiring a PR firm or PR team for your company. While these things are easy to do internally with the help of people from all of the company's departments, it may be easier to have a core group who gets in touch with the right departments and organizes things for you.

Having a professional company (hiring an outside PR firm in contrast to doing the PR in-house) has it's perks; they (ought to) know what they're doing and should have contacts in the media that may help a story get published. Remember to measure and evaluate how they're doing, and if you're not happy, don't be afraid to tell them.

Whichever route you go, it is always best to be genuinely involved as a company. Consumers appreciate a company that actually cares and takes some initiative to respond when consumers have an issue or problem with a product or policy. Be honest, reachable, and responsive.

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