Many companies rely on public relations to get their messages delivered to key audiences through external media outlets.
While this is a critical aspect of successful marketing, public relations doesn’t guarantee coverage, nor does it guarantee the communication of your message. Depending on your goals, industry and situation, a company-published newsletter, website or other publication could bring results that are just as effective, if not more so. The key is to make sure your homemade publications are professional, interesting and credible.
Follow these four rules for creating a company publication that builds awareness, encourages brand loyalty and increases sales:
1. Leverage Existing Company Publications and Websites.
It’s highly likely that your company is already publishing something. However, are you using these tools to their full communication potential? If you haven’t updated the look or content strategy of your website or company publication in the past three years (or if you’re not following the next three rules), then the place to start is to upgrade what you’re already publishing.
2. Create Publications that Look Real.
There are a lot of unprofessional company websites and newsletters that have given a bad name to in-house publications. Yours doesn’t have to fall into that category. Find a few for your industry that you read and show them to a competent graphic designer. That person will be able to extrapolate the key features and create a unique design for your company.
3. Write for Your Audience.
Once the look is professional, make sure your news sounds credible and provides information that is valuable to your audience. Think about the publications and websites that you make time to read. What is it about them that you value? Now, put yourself into the shoes of your audience and think about what information helps them to be more successful. Everything you publish should fulfill that requirement and not sound like one big news release. Nothing says “cheap, self-serving company announcements” more than a publication or website that is written like an infomercial. Make sure your content is educational, interesting and benefits-oriented.
4. Consistently Deliver Your News.
If you aren’t making weekly updates to your website or distributing your newsletter on a monthly basis, you’re not presenting a professional and credible publication. News is called news because it’s frequently changing and delivering new information. It’s this consistent delivery, combined with a professional look and valuable content, that tells someone that a news source is legitimate. Develop an editorial calendar and publishing schedule for your website, newsletter or other company publication. The consistent delivery will ensure that your message is read and taken seriously.