Public-RelationsPublic relations is more than just reaching out to the news media. There are many strategies and tactics that a company can implement to tell their story and build valuable relationships with the people who matter.

If public relations is an uncharted territory for your organization, it can be hard to find the right place to start. A few simple changes to your communications efforts can make all the difference. If you don’t know where to start, here are five small ways to make a big PR impact:

  1. Submit Personnel Announcements

Many news outlets have opportunities for companies to announce new hires and promotions. This is a simple way to get your name out in the media, because it doesn’t require the time or expertise that a press release, story pitch or guest column often need.

To submit a personnel announcement, check your local newspapers on their submission process. Typically, announcements are published within a few weeks, depending on the amount of submissions received. Monitor the newspapers frequently after you submit to verify coverage.

  1. Volunteer in the Community

Giving back to your community generates goodwill for your organization. This can be doing group volunteer projects with staff, or having leaders serve on nonprofit boards. Incorporate community service into your business plan, and voice your efforts on your website and social media channels.

  1. Clean up your Web Presence

If your company hasn’t reviewed its web presence in at least six months, now is the time – this includes your website, social media and online directories. Check for outdated messaging, missing information, broken links, etc.

Clients and potential clients form an opinion of you when reviewing your web presence. Use multiple search engines to search your company name and take a close look at what comes up. Make sure your digital footprint is respectable and professional.

  1. Create a Crisis Plan

A crisis communications plan is not created if a crisis occurs; it’s for when a crisis occurs. A robust crisis plan requires the involvement of PR professionals, but any company leader can create a basic crisis plan. Having even a basic outline is much better than nothing, should a crisis hit.

A crisis plan outlines various possible negative scenarios and the necessary steps to be taken if those scenarios occur. This includes: messaging and response plan, social media policy and media interview training.

  1. Distribute a company e-newsletter

An e-newsletter is a fundamental way to directly connect with the people who are important to your organization. The newsletter might include company achievements, employee profiles, expert Q&As, new hire announcements, links to blog posts and much more.

Because design and writing play heavily into people’s image perception, a communications professional should manage the e-newsletter.

In what ways has your company made a big PR impact? We want to hear from you in the comments below. Our clients have found success in executing these PR tactics. See results for yourself.