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PR Masterclass 3

In tough economic times, it can be tempting to view PR and marketing as luxuries that should be first for the chop. While it makes sense to trim expensive campaigns and scale down ambitious launch plans - to halt all proactive activity is a risk.

Out of sight may also mean out of mind. Reminding customers of who you are and what your business does is even more important when the economic climate is bleak.

Keeping visible, especially when everyone around you is pulling up the drawbridge, makes perfect business sense. There was never a better time to be PR savvy. But what if new business is scarce and there seems little to shout about? What sort of PR activity makes sense in a downturn?

Here are five ideas to consider:

Have Your Say offer to write an opinion or comment piece on a topical issue for your trade publicaton or industry newsletter. Many online and off-line trade publications actively look for well constructed content of this nature, so youll be building journalist contacts as well as your profile. Alternatively, consider writing a letter in response to a feature or topic raised in the publication, or in reply to a published letter.

Get on the Podium seek out speaking opportunities at conferences and seminars where you can share knowledge and insights. These can be time consuming so dont be afraid to be picky. Well targeted, they will enhance your expert status and help build that all-important profile for your business.

Blow your own Trumpet case studies are a powerful way to illustrate what your business does, so start creating them for the work youre most proud of. A good case study can provide content for websites, sales literature, and at exhibitions. Keep a look out for editorial opportunities too by reviewing trade publications Forward Feature listings for topics relevant to your area.

Go for Gold winning an award can be a tremendous boost, not just for the bottom line, but for the morale of the company too. Finding the time to complete the entry form though can be a problem, so make the most of any spare capacity and make this year the year to go for it.

Do Something Different attend a conference or seminar that takes you a little outside your normal circuit or maybe join an online networking group that introduces you to a new set of people. By taking a step into the unknown, new ideas or opportunities often present themselves. The results may suprise you.


If you have a comment about this column or have a PR issue youd like her to cover, email amanda@amandabarryhirst.com or go to www.amandabarryhirst.com

Getting started with speaking opportunities:

Look in trade magazines and online sites, most carry listings of forthcoming industry events and conferences. Many get booked up well in advance, so plan ahead.

For local opportunities, contact your regional Chamber of Commerce www.chamberofcommerce.co.uk. Many groups invite guest speakers.

Also worth checking out are local Business Breakfast events. The business pages of your local newspaper are a good place to start. Find yours from www.holdthefrontpage.co.uk - which lists all weekly and daily UK regional newspapers.

Writing resources:
If writings not your thing, but youve got something to say, dont be afraid to call in an expert. Check out Anthony Madigans ghostwriting services at www.writethetalk.com or see my own site www.amandabarryhirst.com for more help.


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