Businesses that have aggressive public relations programs are constantly looking for ways to achieve news coverage about their companies' products, services and people. They utilize all the normal PR tactics to achieve their goal - press releases, case studies, photo captions, and so on.
But it's also important to go beyond the basics occasionally, by adding some "sizzle" - and consequently some high profile publicity - to the endeavor.
In the everyday activities of PR, you're disseminating information about such things as new products, service enhancements, new additions to your staff and the like. In other words, communicating to the media those things that occur in normal business cycles.
However, the sizzle is something you create outside the normal cycle. Things like arranging for the CEO or other top management to give a speech, conducting seminars for your customers and prospects, participation in shows and exhibits, and leadership activities in civic associations.
Following are several examples of promotional PR that we have utilized for clients:
Speaker's Bureau - There are endless opportunities for a company to take its message directly to the marketplace by way of speaking engagements. Organizations such as chambers of commerce, universities, rotary clubs, and other civic groups have a constant need for speakers on a wide variety of subjects. Through our Speaker's Bureau program, we make these organizations aware of our list of speakers and topics.
Seminars - The seminar concept is ideal for situations that require intense training and audience participation. For one of our financial institution clients, we conducted annual seminars for their customers and prospects. The format would include a prominent keynote speaker (e.g., a director of the Federal Reserve Bank), plus a panel of financial experts from the client company to address questions from the audience.
Conventions, exhibits and home shows - Each of these gives a company an opportunity for one-on-one discussions with prospective buyers, and of course, high profile exposure. Also, since these events are normally well attended by the media, we make it a point to contact editors in advance in order to schedule interviews with our client at the event.
Civic organization involvement - It's one thing to be a member of these organizations, but it's equally important to take a leadership role. This means not only being active on committees, but also seeking a role as an officer or board member. As a leader, you can accomplish great things for the community, while at the same time achieving PR exposure for your company.
Each of the above tactics can provide the sizzle that takes your PR program above and beyond the basics - and thereby increases the awareness of your company and the great things it does!