Natural Woman Magazine The Black Issue Feb 2018 - Page 40

Business Tip for the Natural Woman – How to Get the Most Out Of Public Relations By: Nahamani Yisrael The World Wide Web has effectively reshaped how we interact with both individuals and businesses alike. Living and doing business in the informa- tion age is unique and it often seems as if the rules keep changing. Nearly every aspect of our lives has become intertwined with others through a mobile device and wireless internet connection. It is no surprise that the internet has also shifted how we view and use public relations to enhance our businesses’ brand identity and engage key stakeholders. In an effort to assist our readers with leveraging the resources of public relations, we solicited the advice of a public relations expert currently work- ing in the PR field. Will Jones, Public Relations and Social Media Specialist at the National Under- ground Railroad Freedom Center in Cincinnati, Ohio, was kind enough to share his perspective with our readers so that you can maximize the im- pact of each media engagement. Will having spent over 13 years working at Radio One as a Marketing Professional knows the struggle journalist face with impeding deadlines and an overflow of businesses looking to garner attention for their business and brand. Will’s advice for Natural Woman readers hoping to leverage free publicity as part of their marketing mix is to focus the message on the most important and relevant chunks of information. In his opinion many beginners struggle because they attempt to be and do everything. This dilutes their message and makes their efforts less effective. Will encourages entrepreneurs to approach each media engagement in the same manner that one approaches an elevator pitch. Your message should be concise and straight to the point. Similar to an elevator pitch, one must consider its audience and what those individuals need to know in order to make the decision whether or not to publish your story. If your press release is intriguing the journalist can easily make the assumption that their readers will want to know more. Similar to an elevator pitch, the amount of time that you have to grasp the recipient’s attention is limited and thus the links provided should take the reader directly to the information they need, the pages should load quickly and they should work well on a variety of devices. The use of public relations to highlight an upcoming product launch, event or community engagement is ideal, but there are also times when public relations is needed to address a potentially negative situation. Will’s advice to protect your brand image is to “Be timely! Assess the situation and get in front of it.” Be- ing upfront allows you to control the conversation and express your honest intentions. As a leader, admitting that you’re human and not infallible makes you more relatable and approachable. Giving journalist the information they need to engage their audience with your brand is an essential element in converting journalist into brand ambassadors. Online resources such as informative videos, inspira- tional social media posts and engagements with your customer base providing followers with more than a list of services offered. These elements should shed light on the business owner’s Whys: Why you are pas- sionate about your work and Why the reader should do business with your company. “Your website should work as a sales funnel, not an online brochure. An engaging website will keep your online visitors coming back. Strategic communica- tions [aka public relations] helps classify you as an expert in your field resulting in an increase in the amount of money with which your online visitors are willing to part. Done correctly, your site can propel your business forward, however a poorly executed website equates to a negative public image. A bad website does more harm than good.” stated Nahamani Yisrael founder of Nahamani.org an Internet Mar- keting Firm that works with business and non-profit organizations to enhance their public image. “Simply having a website is not nearly enough; your site must be aesthetic, informational and easy to nav- igate. It is important to understand that your website is speaking on behalf of your brand giving viewers an initial impression of your organization. Your web presence must tell your story through images and words. Your site should be able to stand on its own as well as supporting your public image.” adds Ms. Yisrael. All too often business owners lose potential business because they chose to design their own website, in lieu of hiring a professional design- er. Many do so as a means to cut cost, but do not realize that they may be cutting revenues as well. Others fall victim to deceptive advertising that convinces them that they can build a professional website in just a few clicks. When in actuality the skillset required to build a professional web pres- ence takes time to master. Considering that your website is often the first impression of your brand image seen worldwide, it is well worth the invest- ment to ensure that your site meets the needs of the audience. If you are serious about promoting your brand and need assistance managing your organization’s public image through the creation of a web pres- ence, hiring a professional communications firm is essential. Firms such as Nahamani.org can help your company ensure that the message conveyed through your website aligns with the information that is submitted to media outlets. To learn more about Nahamani.org service offerings, feel free to reach out to proprietor Nahamani Yisrael directly by phone at (513) 917-3959 or by email at ny@ nahamani.org. You can also follow her on social media where she shares tips, resources and a wide variety of information that will help your business position itself for long-term success! www.asknaturalwoman.com