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July 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.

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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.

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