The reason we have public relations is to build good relations and improve understanding between a company and its publics. Public relations serves to promote awareness of the existence of a company and establish positive brand image which can be dissected into various tools and techniques that are effective in achieving these goals.
Sponsorship, for example of sports like athletics, football, basketball, rugby and crickets is gaining international prominence amongst firms as a PR tool. When firms sponsor a sports event, it increases their reach and is able to get to more potential consumers. In Kenya for example, brands like Safaricom and the Kenya Commercial Bank have sponsored sports events which not only benefits the football, rugby clubs and cross-country events but also the brands, giving them more publicity. On the international arena, brands like Cocacola, Pepsi, Samsung and others are among the top sponsors of sports events and clubs.
Local and international laws and policies directly or indirectly affect businesses and their interests. Lobbying therefore is purposed to inform and influence public policy and law. Companies therefore hire lobbyists that influence political decisions on their behalf. Their advocacy leads to proposal of new legislation, or amendment of existing laws and regulations. Organizations target authorities like the Government, politicians, opinion leaders and pressure groups for this purpose.
3. News release
Companies may release Favorable news to the media on regular intervals. Having credible news organizations reporting on a company serves to strengthen the consumers’ confidence in a particular brand. The media also serves an informative and educative role to the consumers, informing them of updates and developments going on in brands.
See this article about us on the star https://www.the-star.co.ke/business/kenya/2019-12-28-xpodd-partners-with-facebook-google-in-real-estate-solutions/
4. Audio-visual presentations
These include video and audio material, films and power point presentations which could be essential communication tools. With the age of social media, it has never become so convenient for businesses to put themselves out there and share material like audio-visuals to promote of inform consumers about the brand.
See this short visual presentation about xPodd https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qxzUtm1wG4w&t=2s
5. Use of advertising specialties
Corporate identity materials like business cards, logos, stationery, T-Shirts, Calendars, Uniforms etc. are widely used to publicize the corporate brand name.
6. Corporate social responsibility
Embarking on community projects creates a positive corporate image. A good example is USIU-Africa which has a course requirement where each student that enrolls cannot graduate without having done a community service course which goes into their final grade. In this course, the students choose an organization in which they volunteer for a period of three months. Not only does this instill positive values in their students, but also gives the school a good image because of all the community projects it engages in.
The company could also increase its profile and influence by giving talks in conferences, trade fairs, schools and colleges etc. Companies may send representatives to speak at events which gives them more coverage and publicity.
You don’t have to have a large corporation to adopt some of these techniques as a business owner. I hope that you incorporate some of these tools and that they help you grow your business. I wish you all the best in your journey.
By Wanjiru Muhoro| Writer