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Generating Interest in Your Company

Three tips on how to get people interested in what your business offers.

Best Practices February 26, 2016

If a tree falls and nobody hears it, the lumberjack isn’t doing his job. Marketing is key to the success of any business. That lumberjack needs to let the world know he’s the best at cutting down trees. If you do something great, it’s extremely important that people know about it. Here are five ways to steal the limelight, coupled with their inherent pros and cons.

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Roll the Dice on a PR Stunt

Remember last year when everyone was arguing about whether that dress was black and blue or gold and white? It all started when a member of a wedding party posted a picture of the bride’s dress asking what color it was. People either saw it as blue and black or blue and gold. The debate went viral and raged around the world. At one point 670,000 people were reading a Buzzfeed post about it at the same time. Even Taylor Swift weighed in on what color she thought it was.

The company that made the dress, Roman Originals, couldn’t have asked for a better scenario. According to Moz, the press mentions for Roman Originals had increased by 17,550-percent month over month. That resulted in a 420-percent boost in site traffic and 2,339-percent increase in backlinks.

This is why businesses try so hard to go viral. The publicity can be amazing for brand recognition and SEO value. But this kind of attention can be risky because brand recognition can be a bad thing, too.

Take Turing Pharmaceuticals. They also had a media coverage surge in 2015 when they hiked the price of a drug by 5,000-percent and the smarmy CEO tried to justify it. According to Moz, after the story broke, the company’s site saw a 318-percent increase in organic traffic compared to the previous month. But it was bad attention, though, and the company suffered a $14.6 million loss in the third quarter. Ouch.

Neither of these companies planned on going viral. It happened organically. Most companies that try to get this kind of media attention fail. It’s very, very hard to go viral. Chances are if you pull a PR stunt to try to get this kind of attention, you’ll be disappointed with the results.

But if you plan a PR campaign with realistic expectations, your stunt could pay off. Here are a few tips for planning your campaign:

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  • The smaller your business is, the more likely media attention will matter. It’s kind of a catch-22, though. If you’re a big company, it’s easier to get your PR stunts noticed. Smaller companies struggle to get any attention.
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  • You don’t want to be seen as the bad guy. You’ve probably heard the adage about all press being good press. It’s just not true. Do your best to make sure that if your campaign goes viral, your company’s image will only improve.
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  • Journalists won’t care about your press release, event, stunt, or whatever else you do for attention if it’s not interesting. Don’t waste money on a campaign that nobody will care about.

Weigh the pros with the cons and figure out if taking a shot at going viral is right for you. Then don’t be surprised if your campaign ends up being a blip on the radar.

Find Your Difference

Think back to when you were first writing up your business plan. You probably looked at your competition and figured out how you were going to best them. Since then you’ve worked hard to distinguish yourself in the market and build on your strengths.

This is exactly what the public needs to know about. When you’re planning out your ad copy, you should start by telling them what makes you better. It shouldn’t be hard to figure this out. It’s whatever’s been your focus this entire time.

Write it down and then edit it so it’s as concise as possible. By this point you’ll be really close to a new great tagline.

Just be sure not to lose sight of everything else about your business. New customers will also need to know about all the stuff you do just like everyone else. Maybe your restaurant serves a delicious dish nobody’s ever heard of, but that doesn’t matter if 90-percent of your potential customers just want a good burger.

Hire a PR Specialist

Your message is only as strong as it’s written. You want to make sure its phrased well and a good copywriter/PR manager can help you choose words that are the most appealing to customers. They can make sure your copy is as professional as possible.

They can also help you avoid saying something you shouldn’t say.

And maybe more importantly, they may come with contacts. That means your message might reach the media a little bit faster.

For all of these reasons, it makes sense to invest in a good PR specialist.

No matter what you do to boost customer interest in your business, get started now. There’s no right season or month to launch your first major PR campaign. You’ll design it differently based on the time of year, sure, but it’s just as important now as later to get new customers. Good luck on your next stunt. We hope it goes viral.

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