How do you promote your organization for best results? Do you use Advertising? Branding? Marketing? Sales? Communications? Public Relations? Publicity? Or all of the above?
Are these promotional strategies one and the same? Often intermingled or misunderstood, each of these creative arts plays a different role in building a client base for your business or organization.
Consumers may not know the difference, but business owners should. Corporate leaders and nonprofit directors benefit by being able to distinguish the details. Understanding the subtle purposes of each area results in better budgeting, along with more effective reputation building.
Consider these options for promoting your organization:
ADVERTISING: Selling something specific through display ads, classifieds, radio or TV spots.
BRANDING: Influencing public perception of your organization through consistency and creativity in logo, design, color, font style, catchy slogans and meaningful messages.
COMMUNICATIONS: Educating targeted audiences (or the public in general) on various aspects of your business. Companies that encourage two-way communications also provide avenues for input from customers (such as surveys or suggestion boxes) and pay attention to what people say.
PUBLIC RELATIONS (PR): Building good will, understanding and support for your business or organization. Usually, PR is practiced through events or activities that bring people together face-to-face, but each occasion requires many other forms of promotion, such as communications, advertising and marketing. A company picnic, for example, is a PR strategy that brings staff together informally to build good will internally. External public relations focuses on folks on the outside. A local company might host an open house, get involved in a charity, or give business tours to help garner public support.
COMMUNITY RELATIONS: Aimed at narrower geographic locations than public relations. A corporation uses public relations to influence citizens anywhere, but reserves community relations for geographical areas closer to home, such as the area immediately surrounding a company’s headquarters – or local branches. Corporations, small businesses, colleges, universities and school districts make it a point to practice community relations to foster good relationships with their surrounding communities.
PUBLICITY: Getting media attention in public places. Organizations often send out new releases to newspapers, TV and radio stations to announce progress, news or changing products, services, programs and people. If content is newsworthy, your announcement will be provided to the public. Some movie stars, as well as organizations, employ outrageous ‘publicity stunts’ just to get in the news.
MARKETING: Finding the right purchasers for an organization’s products and services. Once target groups are identified, marketers use many means of getting their attention, including direct mail, advertising, communications and sales calls.
SALES: Making sales pitches directly to potential customers. Sales take place through phone calls, emails, text messages, appointments, cold calls, or point-of-sales positions, such as store clerks or counter workers.
CAMEO consultants can suggest over 100 different ways to promote your organization, depending on your purpose. Email your requests to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Let’s Talk Business! Briefings by Susan K. Maciak, CAMEO Consulting LLC | cameo100.com CAMEO provides: PR/Communications Services | Corporate Training | Career Consulting