WHY THE CONFUSION?
For the record, I’d like to set a few things straight… public relations and marketing are not the same. I see these terms used interchangeably all the time (hey, I am also at fault for this at times!) but in order to truly connect with you in this article, let’s break the two down as simply as possible…
PR—the way you communicate with the public (aka, your target audience!) via news or press
MARKETING—the action of promoting or selling your products + services
It’s really that simple!
PR is a dynamic tool that gives you the power. It allows you to decide how people perceive you and your business. Here’s an example of PR that I believe you will easily relate to: Being interviewed and featured on a national blog where you share your story along with business tips and tricks. THAT is PR!
Marketing, on the other hand, is your process. This is all about your strategy and the activities or set of mechanisms you establish in order to sell your products and services. A perfect example of marketing is the creation of your monthly social media content calendar. This is your process for selling your business on a daily basis through various platforms.
Can I tell you a secret? With effective PR, you can tell your target audience how they should think and feel about you. Kind of crazy, right?
WHAT MAKES ME QUALIFIED?
Okay, so you are probably wondering—what makes me qualified to educate you on this topic? You may know me as the CEO of POSH PR®, an agency that specializes in fashion PR and the design, planning, and execution of luxury weddings and events.
Here’s a fun fact that surprises most people: Before the origination of POSH PR®, I was a national sales manager for a small technology oriented pharmaceutical firm that specialized in the research, development, and marketing of newly developed nutraceuticals.
I know, right? Now, I run a girly and glamorous business where we wear tutus on Tuesdays, give candy pink kisses and know that Champagne Is Always The Answer®! Or so you think…
KEEPING IT REAL
Don’t worry…. I DO love tulle skirts, pink lipstick and, of course, champagne! However, through this business mantra, if you will, I communicate who I am with my target audience, what it’s like to work with me and give them a little insight into POSH PR®’s girly and fashion infused brand + lifestyle.
True story: When I founded POSH PR® and began the branding process I was trying hard to not be “too pink” or “too girly” or “too fashion forward”—I was trying to not be me. I wanted to fit right in with the rest, which sounds CRAZY to say that out-loud! You know what happened? I was attracting the wrong client and there was a disconnect between my brand and my heart. The best business decision I ever made was to move forward fearlessly with a brand that was unique to me.
This is where effective PR played an important role in my business and new brand—I needed positive press in order to communicate my new messaging with my target audience. And it worked!
LET’S DO THIS
Okay, so you may be wondering how to utilize the power of PR and create a strong relationship with your target audience. Here’s a guide to my favorite ways to get started:
Establishing icons for your brand is an excellent way to communicate with your target audience. These icons should represent your heart and when people see them, they should think of you and your brand. Use these icons on your website, in your posts on social media, and on your blog!
The top three icons for POSH PR®: tulle skirts, pink and champagne!
Ask yourself this:
What are the top three icons that you want people to visualize when they think of your brand?
How are you communicating these icons with your target audience?
POSITION YOURSELF WITH LIKE-MINDED BUSINESSES
First of all, you are not in this alone! Think about all of the brands and businesses that you like. Most likely your target audience likes them too. By positioning yourself with these like-minded businesses, you have the opportunity to attract a larger audience. In addition, people will understand who you are if they see you aligned with other similar brands.
For example, collaborate with other creatives on a branded photo shoot that best showcases your work and the look and feel of your brand. Promoting yourself is one thing, but promoting a group of like-minded creatives can be even more powerful!
Ah, yes… the excitement of having your work and business featured is the best feeling ever!
Make a list of the places you want to see your work or have your business featured. This can include blogs, podcasts, and magazines that are already targeting your ideal client. Now, take that photo shoot and promote it to the places where you want to be seen!
TELL A STORY WITH YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA
Your target audience should view you as a resource for inspiration! Use your social media platforms as a strategic way to communicate your brand as well as your products and services. Remember, you can tell your followers what you want them to know about you!
So, for example, that same photo shoot that you collaborated on…post an image from this shoot and tag the other creatives! Also, use strategic hashtags to attract the attention of the publications that you want to notice you!
THE BEAUTY OF PR
You have the power to project how people view you and your brand! So, choose wisely and strategically and let your true self shine. In the end, when you stay true to yourself you have no competition.
The best part? You can start right now!