Benefits of Public Relations for Small Businesses

I’ve got some good news and some bad news; public relations is everywhere. You can spot it in company news, in the celebrity gossip, and even religious happenings (usually referencing the terrible PR practices the person/entity/company is allowing to take place or creating themselves). That could be the bad news.

The good news? PR can also create some great publicity for you, if you perform PR activities correctly and with proper execution. (This may require you hiring a consultant of sorts, or learning more about PR yourself through training/education.) How is that done? There are a few ways:

  1. Help to create the publicity. In the past, public relations was widely seen as just the practice of getting the media to pay attention to you (which it can still be considered as), but it much, much more than that now. The Internet makes it so easy for you to create your own PR and in turn to create your own publicity, so take advantage of all of the outlets and tools available to you.
  2. Share things that are newsworthy. There are many companies who are confused when news of their sale are not picked up by the media. Unless you are a big name in the industry and your sales truly make an impact, this is not considered “newsworthy”. Newsworthy items include events, sponsorships, contests/giveaways, new product releases, etc. What it boils down to is the impact it has on the community; if the story won’t mean anything to the public, it won’t mean anything to the media either and your story will not get passed along. Actively try to create something worth talking about.
  3. Do good for the community. But not just for the PR. Do it because, as a company who relies on your customers/buyers and the community in which you operate, it is a part of your societal responsibilities to give back. Partake in events, sponsor, donate, offer assistance, whatever; do what you can and what your employees may be passionate about, as that will help to get them behind your efforts.

What’s the point, you ask? Well, there are many benefits of PR. They include (but are definitely not limited to) the following:

  1. Brand Awareness. Brand awareness is simply the awareness of your brand, to be somewhat repetitive; it is the awareness of you and your brand in your target audience, the market, the public, etc. It is vital to the company’s success, and there are many ways to increase brand awareness, many of which can be done through PR. There are other methods, such as those seen in advertising and marketing, and with the ever changing “playing field”, these activities are all becoming more and more similar.
  2. Crisis Management. As we’ve seen in the recent news (like those happenings linked in the first paragraph here), crisis management is something some companies seem to get, well, not so right. Crisis management is the management of events taking place that could turn into or are already a crisis. This can include a recall, an oil spill, infidelity, or just poor judgment, and PR can help to diffuse the situation by presenting the public with information and answers.
  3. Buzz/WOM. What better way to spread the word about your company than through your audience? (I don’t know if there is one, so I’ll just stick with buzz.) WOM (or word of mouth) is also a vital component to the success of not only one’s PR but one’s overall business/brand. While there can be negative buzz/WOM, PR comes into play here because as a part of managing one’s relationships with the public and the media, you can affect the way WOM is spread, as well as what spreads.
  4. Customer Relations. Following from the above point, PR creates an effective and beneficial opportunity (for both company and customer) to communicate and create relations. PR serves as an excellent customer relations tool because while advertising is also a method of communicating with your audience (albeit a one-sided form of), PR is meant to be informational and helpful.
  5. Media Relations. In the same sense, media relations benefits from PR because of the relationships cultivated through the PR process. In involving the media in your PR activities, which can largely be done on your own and without the need of the media, you can have an even greater impact on the online and offline news vehicle.

Thanks for reading…

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Business Productivity: BASECAMP Alternatives for freelance project management

                                      Web based project collaboration tools

As a small business and/or freelance professional you can actually increase your profits by investing in online productivity tools. No more searching for spread sheets, docs etc… If you use Basecamp, great! If you are looking for other alternatives…there are many that work just as good as basecamp.


Huddle – Huddle combines online collaboration, online project management and document sharing using social networking principles.

Redmine – Redmine is a flexible project management web application. Written using Ruby on Rails framework, it is cross-platform and cross-database. Redmine is open source and released under the terms of the GNU General Public License v2 (GPL).

Action Method – Action Method is a radical approach to productivity and project management.

Google Sites – Google Sites is a free and easy way to create and share webpages.

Project Pier – ProjectPier is a Free, Open-Source, self-hosted PHP application for managing tasks, projects and teams through an intuitive web interface. ProjectPier will help your organization communicate, collaborate and get things done Its function is similar to commercial groupware/project management products, but allows the freedom and scalability of self-hosting.

5pm – 5pm can be your central location for project and task management, team collaboration, time tracking, reporting and more…

OpenGoo – OpenGoo is an Open Source Web Office. It is a complete solution for every organization to create, collaborate, share and publish all its internal and external documents.

Kindling – Kindling is an idea management and collaboration tool for groups. We know how important it is to find good ideas within your company, so we created a tool to help foster great thinking. Kindling is for groups, businesses and organizations.

2collab – 2collab works by being a social bookmarking site where you can store and organize your favorite internet resources – such as research articles from any publisher, blogs, websites, and more. Then, in private or public groups you can share your bookmarks with others – your colleagues, distributed research team, or the wider pool of experts in your field. Members of groups can evaluate these resources (by adding ratings and comments) and add their own bookmarks.

Mindquarry – Mindquarry is an Open Source collaborative software platform for file sharing (documents, images, media files, etc.), task and project management, team collaboration and Wiki editing that meshes simplicity and functionality. As a result, knowledge workers are able to connect with team members and share information from wherever they are, effectively improving team-work and increasing productivity within the company.

Goplan – Goplan is an online project management solution. It allows teams and individuals to collaborate through tasks, file management, real-time chat, online calendaring, and many other features.

Co-op – Co-op allows you to stay in tune with your co-workers. Ask questions, share knowledge, track time, and update agendas all in one place.

Others:
Evernote – Evernote allows you to easily capture information in any environment using whatever device or platform you find most convenient, and makes this information accessible and searchable at any time, from anywhere.

Getsignoff – You may produce the best website designs ever, but getting sign off is always painful. Presenting designs to distant clients and managing their feedback is challenging. GetSignOff provides a mechanism for presenting your site designs, managing feedback and organizing multiple versions of a design.

Thanks for reading…

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Call: 888-371-4718 | Email: info@applesandorangespr.com | Web: www.applesandorangespr.com

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