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October 19, 2019

Increased Sales: How Public Relations Can Help Retailers

Guest Blog by Camille McClane

Public relations is a branch of marketing that too many small businesses overlook, and if your business is not focused on the way it is perceived by the public, then it is a sinking ship. Every business has a public image, be it the local lemonade stand helmed by the ambitious 8-year-olds or the mighty retail chain with a 1,000 stores nationwide. Both of those ideas carry an identity with it, even if it is somewhat generic and nebulous. Why leave your retail business’ identity to chance when there are several reasons why good PR can help you along the path to success?

KFCImage Courtesy of BrandFreak.com

PR Can Make You Bigger Than Your Brand
People love to feel like a part of something good, especially when it’s for a cause they believe in. When people associate these positive feelings with your brand, they’re not only likely to buy from you, they’re likely to spread the good news to others. Back in 2011, KFC decided to do away with the tired old essay for giving out their $20,000 college scholarship, and put it all down on a single tweet.

Entrants were limited to the standard 140 characters, minus the required hashtag, and were asked to convince KFC why they deserved the scholarship. In just two weeks, over 2800 tweets were submitted and their twitter following jumped 20%, garnering them positive favor and increasing their social media reach.

PR Can Make People Feel At Home
Studies have shown that people are much more likely to shop with a retail brand they are familiar with, as familiarity breeds trust and trust is any business’ key quality for customer satisfaction.

In 2010, the BALSAMS Grand Resort Hotel in New Hampshire decided to offer an online promotion to select a “resorter” — someone who would live in the hotel for two months — while posting updates about all the experiences they were having. They selected the winner via social media and online voting out of entries from around the world.

The campaign was so successful that it increased bookings for the following month by 20%. They repeated a version of the campaign the following winter and by January they were completely booked, making it their busiest season ever.

People didn’t need to win to feel like they were there, and as a result when they planned their own trip, many chose the hotel they had already seen in all it’s exciting intimacy. Transparency, in the eyes of the public, can remove some of the stiffness from your public image. A customer who is familiar with your company is a customer likely to trust you with their business.

word pile

PR Firms Can Build Your Image For You
In retail, you have enough trouble worrying about how to stay connected to the customers you have and how to simplify the shopping process while managing conversion rates and inventory numbers. You may not have the time or resources to give your public relations the attention it deserves, at least not on your own.

Both of the previous examples, and a host of others, were not built solely on the creative in-house ideas of genius CEOs or innovative board members, but were created in collaboration with PR Firms. These firms exist solely to weave the public’s perception of brands, and you might find them a good fit for you too.

At this point, it ought to be apparent that PR Firms can do a lot for you in the right situations, but it would be worthwhile to take some time and determine if it’s the right choice for your business.

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Do you know what your specific PR needs are? You should, otherwise you might not need a firm yet.
  • Can you afford to spend money that doesn’t make you money if a campaign is unsuccessful?
  • If you’ve taken some meetings, are the ideas original enough or do they feel boring to you?
  • Do you have the time to commit to a PR campaign?

camilleCamille McClane is a writer, researcher and editor, who frequently blogs about about web hosting and social media. Her favorite subject to focus on is emerging technology trends and its overall effect within business expansion and relations. She hopes the readers of Myerspr.com enjoy this article as much as she enjoyed writing it.

National Fun at Work Day!

Written by Jordan Garegnani, Myers PR Social Media Manager

At Myers PR, we think work should be fun regularly – not just today! Fun in the office builds relationships among coworkers and a positive work culture. That positive vibe keeps everyone creative, energized, productive and happy, because after all – we are the “nice” PR firm! We like to keep it fun in a multitude of ways:

Liz's Birthday Haul

Liz’s Birthday Haul

Birthday Celebrations
Every birthday is a big deal at Myers PR. We pick a day everyone can celebrate and go out to lunch armed with presents from everyone in the office. Of course the birthday boy/girl gets to pick where we lunch so it’s a treat for everyone and never gets boring.

Yoga Classes/Gym
Healthy employees are happy employees! We have a corporate account at Beloved Yoga nearby for some zen in our lives and also have a gym right next door for a mid-afternoon jog!

Staff Outing
At least once a year we take a fun day off to do something fun as a group (no checking work email!). Last year it was visiting The Winery at Bull Run, the year before was tubing down the Shenandoah and the year before that it was a kayaking trip!

My Myers PR Anniversary Flowers

My Myers PR Anniversary Flowers

Myers Birthdays
Another type of birthday Marion never forgets is our Myers PR birthdays – aka the day we came to work here 🙂 You can be sure to receive a Mayflowers delivery of your favorite flowers on this day.

Staff Retreat
Annually, we as a company take time to go over how the past year was and focus on what we want to accomplish or change as a company. In between all those discussions, Kate is the master of team bonding, coming up with creative games, activities and projects for us all.

Rick Roll Fridays
Last but not least, a weird tradition developed in our office called Rick Roll Fridays…enjoy!

ballpit1While your boss should be on board for most of these types of outings, there are other ways to create a happy work culture that doesn’t cut into the work day and you can initiate. So if you’re looking for a little more fun in the office, maybe think about organizing weekend volunteer projects, finding a coworker who wants to be a gym buddy, plan a happy hour or start a good-natured pranking war with your coworkers!

Maid Bright Recognized as Community Service Standout

Guest Blog by Melanie Ford, Myers PR Intern

Maid Bright Logo

Corporate awards aren’t the only way to build credit behind your company or brand.

A combination of community outreach & service, corporate awards and excellent values can really go a long way. Doug Levy, co-author of Can’t Buy Me Like: How Authentic Customer Connections Drive Superior Results, says, “The companies that care about something bigger than their products tend to sell more of their products.” And we think Maid Bright, a Sterling cleaning company, proves that point.

This outstanding small business is a family-owned residential cleaning company which consistently acts upon its corporate values of excellence in service. And not just their cleaning service.

Cleaning for a Reason LogoNot only did Maid Bright representatives participate in Cornerstones’ Help the Homeless Walk and the Love Your Body Event during 2013, they have also been affiliated with Cleaning for a Reason the past three years and helped clean the houses of women battling cancer. Combined with their consistent 10% discount services for senior citizens, veterans, firefighters, and teachers, Maid Bright has provided approximately $9000+ a year in the form of donations and cleaning services to philanthropic initiatives.

In the words of Maid Bright owner, Yusuf Mehmetoglu: “I know firsthand how difficult it can be to find a job, pay your bills, and sustain a comfortable life… In order to make our community a better place to live and help those going through similar situations, it is imperative that Maid Bright be involved in our community and to support others who are less fortunate.”

Employees of the monthSo how do the Mehmetoglus facilitate a work culture where their employees earnestly pursue community involvement? Employees who are the most engaged in volunteerism efforts, as featured on Maid Bright’s Facebook, receive financial incentives in the form of a gift card or bonus each month. The company’s third-party reputation for quality, commitment to equal opportunity employment and industry-approved cleaning supplies also enable employees to take a sense of pride in upholding corporates values.

Recipient of Angie's List Super Service Award 2013Maid Bright has been recognized by various industry-coveted awards. For the fifth consecutive year (2009-2013), they have earned the Angie’s List Superior Service Award, which ranks home and health service providers. This award gives Maid Bright market respect, credibility and increased brand awareness among two million plus Angie’s List users.

“Only about 5 percent of the companies Maid Bright competes with in Washington, DC Metropolitan Area are able to earn our Super Service Award,” said Angie’s List Founder Angie Hicks. “It’s a mark of consistently great customer service.”

Maid Bright Car Design They also won the 2013 Loudoun Green Business Challenge in the tenant-leased business category. This points-based competition was hosted by the Loudoun County Chamber of Commerce and encouraged more efficient and sustainable business operations. After attending an Executive Leadership Conference in Dallas, TX, Maid Bright also gained recognition for Best Vehicle Graphics at the Professional Image Awards from the Association of Residential Cleaning Services International (ARCSI) Awards Committee.

Seeing as how Maid Bright has lived up to their slogan,”spotless quality & service every time, guaranteed” since 2004, and have the recognition to prove it, we think their corporate goals and values match up for a winning combination.

Have you thought about how your business could get more involved and build quality relationships in your local community? What is your corporate direction and how are you promoting it within your workplace culture?

 

The Strategic Value of Corporate Awards

Does your company know the strategic value of corporate awards?

Workplace Strategy

The Benefits:

Corporate awards enhance corporate performance from the boardroom to the front lines. Businesses need to plan a corporate awards strategy with corporate initiatives in mind. For example, if the company is making a push for ethical behavior or corporate leadership, then it can look for awards competitions that recognize these traits.

Reinforce Corporate Values:

Diversity Award Booz AllenThe Coca-Cola Company has embraced the philosophy to have a diverse and supportive workplace culture. Adding credibility to Coke’s commitment of diversity, are the multiple business awards the company has won for diversity. Choose your award program in alignment with your corporate direction.

For example, consulting firm, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., prides itself on diversity as one of their core values. Year after year, their Diversity and Inclusion programs consistently earn awards of distinction. Fifteen years of consecutive placement in the 100 Best Companies for Working Mothers award by Working Mother magazine put them in the Working Mother magazine’s Hall of Fame, which adds a vote of confidence for new hires.

PublicityPublic Relations Added Value:

Corporate awards bring benefits of increased awareness, third-party validation and establish market respect. The free publicity an award-winning business receives can result in more business and new connections. Plus, when used effectively, industry awards are an excellent sales tool to attract and close new business.

What About Small Businesses?

The benefits of business awards for small businesses are similar to large corporations. Often a small business will struggle to establish recognition and credibility in the marketplace. A business award win or even a nomination can open doors and have a greater impact on the growth of a smaller company.

publicitySmall companies should consider entering competitions, especially those sponsored by business organizations and publications, just so the judges, other business professionals and often journalists, will become aware of them and their products and/or service.

Do not underestimate the power of corporate awards competitions. Even if you don’t come out a winner, your company will gain positive exposure of your core values, a challenge to improve and an opportunity for your clients, employees and future business connections to see just how good a company you really are!