Since embarking upon my journey into a career in marketing and branding, one of the main things I have realized about start-up and well-established companies alike is that they have a constant tendency to underestimate the power of using the various communications tools at their disposal to sell themselves. All companies, including the fabulous one that employs me, are guilty of allowing themselves get bogged down in the day-to-day activities of running a business, causing them to lose focus on maintaining a strong media/Internet presence and to forget to seize every opportunity to communicate with their brand community.
Making sure that your company is at the forefront of related conversation is a vital aspect of presenting your product/service as a hot commodity. Obviously, providing superior customer service and turning out an excellent product is an absolute necessity in attaining and maintaining clients, but what good are those things if no one knows who you are? These days, if a company does a smashing job on a project and no one tweets about it, did it even happen?
This, my friends, is where brand marketing and public relations play an integral role in bolstering the success and profitability of your company. By cultivating a compelling, clever, and active online presence (including maintaining a sleek, sophisticated, and innovative website) and inserting yourself into relevant forms of media collateral through advertisement and product placement, you are building up your company’s reputation and capitalizing on word-of-mouth business you would never otherwise get. You are what you are perceived to be, and the best way of building a buzz around your business and reaching the full spectrum of your brand community is to put yourself out there by starting and actively participating in those discussions.
Another huge part of PR that companies fail to take advantage of is networking opportunities. One thing DTP takes part in that I strongly feel would greatly benefit any small-to-midsized company is being a member of a local business-networking group. These groups are an invaluable way of meeting and building relationships with people from all different fields and industries in your city, greatly widening the scope of your reach and providing a mutually beneficial way of bringing in business. It might seem time-consuming or even intimidating to really commit to this type of group, but I have personally witnessed the dramatic impact it has on the volume and nature of your clientele.
In short, you’ve got to brag a bit if you want others to sit up and take notice of your company’s swag. If you take your public persona seriously, your brand community will take you seriously, as well! A killer website, some well-placed ads, published articles (or at least blogs) about your craft, and taking part in every networking opportunity possible are all things that set you apart from your competition, and investing time and money into these worthwhile efforts will be sure to pay you back tenfold.