Business Promotion - When and how should you promote your business in the aftermath of the GFC?
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Business Promotion - Promote your business in the aftermath of the GFC

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Although there is no 'one size fits all solution', the key questions confronting many business owners and managers are: when should they emerge from their GFC cocoon and start an aggressive marketing campaign or, perhaps even more importantly, how should they do it?

There has always been a popular belief that the most prudent approach to an economic downturn is to cut all expenditure, but most specifically, marketing costs.

However, many people strongly disagree with this philosophy and argue that if your competitors have followed this approach, there is a great opportunity to put your foot on your marketing spend pedal as you will acquire market share more cheaply under these circumstances than in times of prosperity.

Business Promotion A major difficulty faced by managers and business owners is that, even if they think the time is right to raise their profile in the crowded market, they don't know where they should put their dollars.

Many make the mistake of thinking of promotional activities in separate silos and do not see the big picture of communication with its different elements.

In fact, the discipline that I come from, that is 'public relations', is the umbrella heading that looks at all the communication activities of an organisation and how they can synergistically work with each other.

There is general confusion that public relations only amounts to the generating of favourable media coverage. Although this is an important component, public relations involves much more.

At Dennis Rutzou Public Relations, we define public relations as the 'management discipline of communication', which means first and foremost the communication function of an organisation must be carefully planned to ensure that it is working towards achieving defined and agreed objectives.

In addition to media coverage, the online environment is one of the tools of communication, which must also be integrated within the public relations planning and activities for an organisation.

In fact, we have a section in every public relations proposal we prepare for all new clients called 'online public relations'. It looks at how the communication value of their website can be improved with new content, improved copy and optimisation, social networking, regular e-newsletters to stakeholders and other means of improving the effectiveness of online communication.

It is important to ensure that the website is integrated with the other PR activities that are being implemented to ensure a consistency of language and theme.

A PR program is built around the credible key messages that describe the organisation, its services, experience and expertise. They are the phrases that are used in media releases, articles, websites, speeches and presentations, brochures and so on.

The repetition of those credible key messages comes from a sound theoretical base aimed at building recall by the target audiences.

One of the advantages that we bring to the public relations function for clients is that we are outside their organisation and have an objectivity about the organisation and its services, as well as being charged with the responsibility of implementing the overall PR program.

So my advice about when and how you should start promoting your business is: now! And more precisely, start with public relations as the most potent tool in the tool box.

Dennis Rutzou, MPRIA

PR Firm Dennis Rutzou Public Relations Pty Ltd

Telephone: 02 9413 4244 (International: +61 2 9413 4244)
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