No marketing segment can be more powerful than Public Relations, and a good PR department is vital to any successful business. However, when it comes to hometown insurance agencies, chances are that as the owner, you wear that hat all by yourself.
If you’re confused by what PR really is, you’re not alone – a lot of folks are.
So what exactly is PR?
PR is simply the methods by which you reach out to your community. It’s in the name, after all – public relations. Your PR initiatives should exist to build and maintain your agency’s positive brand image throughout the community.
Studies have shown that customers, potential customers and other businesses’ favorable perception of your company can be highly influenced by what they see in the media. This includes social media.
So where are we going with this?
Well, we spent a lot of time over the course of four earlier blog posts discussing how you can make your marketing efforts vastly more impactful by instituting a Community Program based on Worthy Cause Marketing principles.
But your campaigns will go nowhere fast if no one knows about them, right?
And since your Public Relations department most likely consists of you, perhaps with some nominal help from your staff, just exactly how are you going to spread the word?
Say hello to the jewel of the PR world: the press release.
At AMM, the professional copywriters on our staff prepare press releases for each of our clients’ community cause campaigns, which I’m happy to say have resulted in countless newspaper articles and radio and television spots.
Yes, we’re The Machine. But that doesn’t mean that you can’t do the same on a smaller scale.
Because keeping local media in the loop on your Community Program will hugely impact your influence in the community and the perception of your agency among your local audience.
In addition to generating exposure for the grassroots organizations you target, resulting in much-needed volunteers and donors, press releases put your agency front and center in your city’s local news, creating credibility and contributing to your reputation as a caring, trusted advisor to your community.
And your nonprofits will love you. Because your press releases will give them exposure, too.
Many organizations will feature your agency on their website and give you access to their donor lists so that their people can stay informed of the fundraising campaign and of your Rally Day – and come out to support it.
Consequently, every 60-90 days you’ll meet whole brand spankin’ new segments of the community rife for recommendations, quotations and new business, as you change out your community causes.
What’s more, the press loves heroes!
You, your team and your agency will be portrayed all over town as legitimate hometown heroes, working to better the community.
Nonprofits, other businesses and countless people throughout your community will begin to take notice. It won’t happen overnight, but buzz will grow. With every community cause, press release, Cause Rally Day, social media post and volunteer activity your agency supports, you engage the community on an emotional level, showing them that you care.
Building relationships on a much grander scale.
One other bonanza for your agency: This marketing program we’ve been discussing can have huge ramifications on your employee retention.
Because we all want to be inspired and feel that our work truly matters, don’t we?
Doing good for your community and inspiring your employees and customers are truly worthy aspirations. Achieving those aspirations also happens to be very good for business. So be sure to keep the people of your community in the loop.
It’s a win-win for all concerned.