So, here we are. Looking over our shoulder, we see the fleeting remnants of 2008 disappearing over the horizon. Ahead – 2009. Most people will shrug and think that 2009 will not be much better on the economic front with more jobs being lost, businesses drying up, and the cost of everything taking a roller coaster ride from way high to 99 1/2% off retail!
Now, more than ever, PR efforts needs to stepped up. Yeah, I know all those new products you fleshed out on your white board will now never get funded. That doesn’t mean your PR opportunities are out the window. First of all, when times get tough, look inside. Not your closets, or your soul, but within your company walls; look at your employees, look at initiatives you are doing within your community. You may think it’s just business as usual but to your customers they are like bread crumbs in a dark and scary forest. You know that green initiative your staff took on last month? Changing out light bulbs, recycling cans, placing signs in the bathrooms and kitchen reminding people about water use? I know you think you are saving a bit of money, getting your team involved in something other than fretting about the potential of pink slips, but your community might like to know – how about a press release?
What about your boss? You know Mr. Grinch on the job, but every year he spends his bonus on toys for kids and dressing like Santa visits the children’s wing at your hospital. How about a press release – maybe if more people knew about his generosity, they’d help too. You know, start a trend!
How about that new initiative in manufacturing? What does Lean mean to your customers? Tell them about it – let them know how it will benefit them. How about Mr. Smith in the back of the house? He’s been with your company how long? Isn’t that amazing these days? Don’t you think in this day and age of disposable employees your customers might like to know your company cares and celebrates longevity?
All of the above examples were not about new products, or made up services, but about people – your company’s most important asset. When uncertainty abounds, we take comfort in knowing that persaverance and loyalty matter; that companies that care, matter. This type of PR or “people relations” makes you a better vendor, a better customer, a better manufacturer in the eyes of your public. So, relax, you don’t need new products to have a successful PR program, you just need to open your eyes and listen.