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Five ways to use the media to boost your brand

By Mace Usher

Most people know that publicity could help their firm. You’ve undoubtedly heard the phrase “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”, and (correctly) thought that getting in the papers is normally good. But exactly how exactly can PR assist you along with your business? In the following paragraphs I’m going to take a look at various ways the media can help you.

There is however such a thing as bad publicity, so I’ll also reveal the only situation when it’s advisable to keep a low profile

Reason 1: Public relations will raise the profile of your company

Perhaps the most apparent advantage of PR work. Anytime your company gets coverage in the media, you become a little better known in your town or trade, and a little more likely to win over new business. One mention in the paper isn’t going to allow you to retire in the Bahamas and play golf every single day, but it will mean somebody somewhere will be exposed to your organisation and the message you want to get over.

Say by way of example you operate a garage. In October you decide to have an open day to teach your public (free of cost) how to prepare their cars or trucks for the cold weather, so you phone up the local paper and they feature it within that week’s issue. Potential customers see the report and think ‘that’s good of them, they appear to be a reputable, professional business’.

Truth of the matter, you most likely aren’t about to have the entire city queuing down the street on Monday morning eager for you to service their motor vehicles – PR works in a more subtle way than this.

Yes, a client may book their car in that day basically because they need an MOT and require a garage they can trust, but more likely they’ll just remember your business. Then when your future marketing stunt makes the newspapers, they might be prepared to book their van in. Or the time after that. Great publicity isn’t a one off event, it’s a number of incremental steps that steadily make your brand more attractive to potential customers.

Buyers head to brand names they know. To carry on the garage illustration, Kwik Fit isn’t the cheapest place to get an MOT done. One could probably find a mechanic close to you that would do just as good a job at a lower price. But thousands of people flock to Kwik Fit each day because they’re a organisation people can trust in an industry where customers are always concerned about getting scammed.

Enhancing the profile of the organisation won’t only be noticed by your clients either. Other businesses in your niche will notice your enterprise is expanding, which can lead to partnership and joint venture opportunities.

The benefits of a strong brand won’t just have an external effect on your firm either. Positive newspaper coverage can help you attract and hold on to good staff. Everybody wants well known, respected organisations on their Resume. By getting coverage in the news, you’ll be helping your human resources division out, and perhaps saving thousands in recruitment charges.

Reason 2: Public relations can help you save significant amounts in advertising charges

An advert in a national newspaper would be way too expensive for most small companies to even consider, yet with public relations you can get your business in the newspaper at no cost. Plus when you are written about in an article, your message comes across that much more authoritative than an ad.

Put it this way, if you saw a review in Time Out telling you a film was the very best piece of film making since Casablanca, and an advert suggesting the same thing, what would have more of an impact?

Reason 3: The media rewards you individually

It’s not just what you are promoting which will be boosted by getting coverage in the media, an elevated media profile may benefit you personally if you’re the individual being interviewed or quoted.

As you become recognised in your sector, lots of different opportunities can open themselves up to you. You may receive job offers from larger organisations that have seen the work you’ve been doing in the field. You may well be offered consultancy work, which can be very rewarding. You might even be offered speaking opportunities, which give you another opportunity to improve your personal and business brands.

These opportunities all stem from the authority you obtain by being seen as an expert in your discipline – and notice I said being seen as an expert. You don’t have to be the most knowledgable human being in your area of interest to be viewed as an authority, you just need to be the ‘expert’ individuals are most aware of. The media could make you more revered in your segment than a competitor or colleague with years more experience.

The other benefit people don’t often mention about PR is that it is often a lot of fun. Crafting a story and seeing it in the paper or on the TV can be very satisfying. Doing a live TV interview can be frightening, but thrilling at the same time.

Property expert Henry Pryor explains how PR has helped him personally

Reason 4: Using the media can help combat bad press

You may know that there’s some bad news coming down the road. Perhaps you’re cancelling a service, or closing a store. Perhaps you’re being sued by a client whose family home was burnt down by the kettle you sold him. Regardless of the story, clever use of The media can lessen the effects of negative publicity.

Reason 5: You MUST control your image

Possibly the most significant reason to utilise the media is this: You NEED to be in charge of how the wider world sees you and your organisation.

If you don’t take control of your public image, someone else will. And you may not enjoy what they say.

By embracing the press it is easy to avoid people making assumptions concerning your company, and you personally. Keeping silent means people will write what they want about your organisation, and it will be them, rather than you, that styles public opinion of your product.

And last but not least, when not to PR your small business

There is a caveat to all of this. Only you know what skeletons lie in your closet. Prior to embarking on any PR programme, have a think about whether you wish to draw attention to your company. Is there anything you don’t want the population to be aware of, that might be exposed by increased media attention?

Publicity work can reduce the impact of detrimental publicity, but in some instances you’d be better off staying away from the press altogether.

So as an alternative to “there’s no such thing as bad publicity”, I’ll leave you with a quotation from the Irish wit Brendan Behan:

“There’s no such thing as bad publicity, except your own obituary”

If you’d like to know how to PR your organisation, attract customers and raise your profile, check out How To PR.

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Article Citation
MLA Style Citation:
Usher, Mace "Five ways to use the media to boost your brand." Five ways to use the media to boost your brand. 26 Jan. 2012. 2 Aug 2014 <>.

APA Style Citation:
Usher, M (2012, January 26). Five ways to use the media to boost your brand. Retrieved August 2, 2014, from

Chicago Style Citation:
Usher, Mace "Five ways to use the media to boost your brand"

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