Public Relations Marketing Can Help Building Contractors

Public relations and marketing can go hand-in-hand. Without the knowledge and support of many people, a business might go nowhere. While there are many ways to market a company, some types of businesses really rely on public relations and the reactions they get from their potential customers. Building contractors fall into this category. They can advertise and market their services through various outlets such as social networking sites, video streaming sites, television commercials, newspaper ads, etc. but one of the most important outlets is through people themselves. When building contractors can appeal to their intended audience and prove to them that their satisfaction is looked for, they might be received much differently and maybe this would help increase the number of sales in general.

It is well known that word of mouth can either be a friend or an enemy of a business. It is no different for many building contractors. However, for them, many aspects of their company rely on public relations. Presenting themselves in the right way to their potential customers means a lot. Not only that, but if they can appeal to the customer through their interactions with them and through their work, then the word will get out.

Public relations, however, is not just a matter of “being nice to the customer”. It is an entire field that is designated to informing the people of a business through various means. It consists of presenting marketing strategies to people who will see the business as outstanding and worthy of advertisement. It means getting information out to those who have the resources available to campaign for the company. Sometimes it involves writing outstanding articles and submitting them to dozens of resources such as websites, newspapers, and magazines. Presenting the company as something worthwhile is something that even building contractors must be aware of.

Building contractors may need to put some time and effort into it, but when properly marketed, the results can be very well big. Public relations help to ensure that the company is presented in such as way as to appeal to the potential customers. Even if two different contractors can perform quality work for the same price, the one who is presented more to the people might be the one receiving phone calls for building projects. Building contractors who have no experience in the field can consult a public relations specialist in order to determine what the best method of market would be. Professional help can greatly improve the number of sales leads received through market on the internet along with other printed sources.

Is Public Relations and SEO the Same Thing?

Most Public Relations depts work very closely with their in-house Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) team.

They both make a living from online marketing, they both liaise with other editors, they both write realms of content and then they both promote that content.

Because SEO is a comparatively new entity and PR depts have slowly moved into the online market, it has become much harder to distinguish a difference between the two trades. And during conversations many PR and SEO professionals have wondered that despite their different work titles; are they actually doing the same job.

Points of Difference between PR and SEO

Although there are similarities between many Public Relations and Search Engine Optimisation teams; there are also enough differences to ensure that the two teams in an agency remain separate. In many cases, one team cannot do the job asked of it by the other. A few examples are listed below:

Data Analytics – Most SEO teams spend a lion’s share of their time analysing data and tracking the keywords that they have identified as important for their specific campaigns. This is a task that a PR team makes a point of avoiding. The Search Engine Optimisation dept focuses on search engine statistics and keyword research. They are always on the lookout for new ways to enhance the optimisation of their websites.

Offline Communication – On the other hand PR professionals are more likely to communicate offline, which is something that is rarely done by a SEO team. Public Relations require outgoing individuals who can think on their feet. Face to face communication is a major requirement of a PR department.

Creating Content – The way that most PR and SEO teams create their content is also very different. Although both roles require content to be written that engages their readers, the Search Engine team have to write a large number of pieces that are on average 500 words long. The Public Relations dept on the other hand write much longer articles but less frequently.

The difference might not seem that much; but they are important differences between the two trades. The three points raised above take up a large proportion of each working day for both the PR and SEO depts. And, because of this, they actually complement each other very nicely within an agency.

Why PR and SEO Departments Work Well Together

Despite the differences raised so far between the two depts concerning marketing, there is still some overlap when comparing the different roles. Below I have listed areas where most Public Relations and Optimisation departments perfectly complement one another:

Firstly, the two departments have their own specific contacts and relationships. A PR team would have much more authoritative relationships in the media industry, enabling them to work with the SEO dept to gain back-links from otherwise unattainable sources. In return, a Search Engine Optimisation team can advise Public Relations on which keywords to focus on and best practices to employ when writing content for online publications.

Secondly, both departments are responsible for producing content that will appear on an agency website as well as their client’s. The PR team would produce high quality copy that captures the public’s imagination portraying a theme or subject whilst the SEO professionals would write a large volume of content that is used for link building and keyword optimisation.

Finally, most Public Relations departments would be advised how their content is performing in terms of ‘click through rate’ and ‘return on investment’ by the data analysis from the Search Engine team. This will enable the PR team to identify avenues that can be exploited to further their marketing goals. Similarly, PR can keep SEO up to date with the latest fads and trends to help them write relevant and up to date content.

Local Store Marketing: Promoting Your Store Through Public Relations

Public relations can often be overlooked as a powerful tool in communicating your store and its brand throughout the community. Whether you are creating news, sponsoring an event or contributing to a charitable organization, a prudent public relations strategy can create the following benefits in your trade area:

– Community relations strengthen brand links to your trade area

– Public relations provide low-cost brand awareness that’s not perceived as advertising

– It helps develop strong relationships with community and business leaders

– Provides another avenue to establish credibility of your store and brand

Public relations can incorporate a number of items and each should be interwoven in a consistent theme. At the beginning of the year, identify key people, events and community tie-ins that you wish to be a part of and create an overall cohesive strategy linking these activities. The obvious public relations tactics are the high-profile, low cost events in order to gain exposure. More subtle tactics, such as networking, can contribute to improving your visibility equally as much. Below outlines some key ideas to include in your overall public relations strategy:

  • Network With Local Leaders: Identify all of the key leaders in your community and put forth a schedule to meet a minimum of two per month. Your list should include the Chamber of Commerce president; fire and police chiefs; youth organization leaders; strategic business leaders; and other key networkers. Associating yourself with these “tippers” will quickly and efficiently cascade your brand and its activities throughout your community. Consistently getting in front of these key leaders in your area, keeps you top of mind.
  • Create News: Working with the local newspapers to generate news regarding your store or brand is an excellent way to get a third-party endorsement. Many of the editors, and in particular the beat writers, are constantly looking for local flair from area businesses and its up to you to entice them. Feed them information on an ongoing basis and they will appreciate your stream of idea-starters. Tell them about new items or new employees, for instance, to fill the hopper.
  • Community Events Sponsorship: Building an important link to community events is another excellent opportunity to grow the business in conjunction with your local store marketing activities. Tying in with the school systems with year-long programs that reward students for outstanding achievement is a nice way to gain exposure within the school systems as well as fundraisers, car washes and contests. Chamber events provide the opportunity to get to know the other businesses in the area. Lastly, organizing store tours is a great way to get families to visit together.
  • Adopt-A-School: This is an excellent partner program that benefits both the local school system and the store. Working with the schools, you can customize a program that creates goodwill for your store and the school. This is a great way to win the hearts of kids, and their parents as well. Help support a local school in your community with once-a-month, hour-long “life” sessions that tie to your store in a fun, memorable way.
  • Help A Charity: Some of your local store marketing programs are designed to increase awareness of our brand, others because – it’s the right thing to do. Working with charities enables you to give back to the communities in which you are located. Charitable work – and when its tied with vendor promotions – can be a great experience for your staff as well as a way to drive traffic to your store and ultimately, benefiting the charity.
  • Inform Your Vendors: Your public relations efforts should not be limited to your trade area, media and your customers. Keeping your vendor partners informed and included in your strategic plans enables all parties that can influence your location to share a common vision. Include them on press releases, share strategic business visions and ask them to support, as well as participate in, your success.
  • Ask Your Customers: Lastly, one way to tap into the minds of your customers for feedback — is to ask them! More often than not, customers that are asked frequently about their experiences will more than share insights with you. In addition, by formalizing a written survey or having them give you their contact information, enables you to target marketing efforts directly to them in the future. Reward customers for filling out satisfaction survey or on Facebook that can provide valuable information from your key sales source.

Public relations can be a great way to become “known” in your community and help foster relationships that your competition won’t be able to touch. This ongoing community relationship-building with both customers and suppliers, can prove to be a vital part of your overall brand effectiveness. Savvy operators that master the art of relationship-building, may be able to spend less money on advertising to enhance their brands.