PR expert Mike Shields of Shooting Star PR spoke to members of Bingham Business Club last week about the steps to effective public relations and the ways in which businesses can put self-promotion into action. He said that businesses needed to take time to plan their PR, working out who they wanted to reach and what they wanted to achieve.
“It is important to have your key messages clear in your mind before you start”.
Making the most of opportunities was also key to successful PR. This included telling the media about newsworthy products or services, entering awards, writing a blog, and using social media. Mike explained different ways to make news releases relevant and interesting, placing the most important information at the top, using short sentences, including pictures, and making sure to include contact details.
Working on building up relationships with media contacts could also reap rewards, he said. Contacts often needed local industry experts to comment on stories or provide informed insight.
It also paid to be prepared to handle any bad publicity that a company might receive, rather than giving a knee-jerk reaction. Any business could use social media to its advantage, Mike said. Posting regular, relevant and interesting material kept customers engaged and could give a business more of a human face.