How manufacturing companies can make the most out of Public Relations...
As companies in the industrial sector look to win new customers – and to retain the loyal buyers they have – they need to find ways to keep in front of prospects. Here, our PR team discusses how Public Relations can help manufacturers achieve this goal.
A well-designed and targeted PR campaign reaches the desired audience in a number of ways:
- Through Education
Public Relations educates and informs the target audience about what your company does and why it matters. It can also educate the market about a new product or service that you offer. For manufacturers, this can mean raising awareness of a technology, an innovation or indeed how a new solution can solve a problem. PR means that you can achieve coverage by getting a message across in a subtle way, which means an article is much more likely to be read than an advert.
- Through enhancing reputations
An effective PR strategy builds a positive image and can enhance a business’s reputation through thought leadership articles that we write on a manufacturer’s behalf. This helps to add credibility to a brand, keeping customers reassured that you are a reputable and credible organisation. For a manufacturing business, having a strong reputation is very important. What we do is to demonstrate your good practice, through health and safety, workforce and environmental initiatives, as well as your approach to innovation and investment in the business.
- Increases awareness
A PR campaign increases awareness and visibility of a manufacturing company. It makes potential customers, both UK and internationally, aware that your brand exists and with consistent effort, increases visibility and gains momentum. For manufacturers, this often means giving them a raised profile on a global scale. Our contacts with international publications means we can just as readily secure an article in a US, Russian or Indian title as we can in a UK publication.
- Generates interest
By creating awareness, we stimulate interest in your company and generate sales leads from our press articles. We can help engage customers in learning more about your company’s latest developments, projects and charitable efforts. This can even help with recruiting by attracting better candidates to work for you.
Here are some techniques that every manufacturing company should be using:
1) Customer case studies: A PR campaign can help your customers tell your story for you and showcase just how good your products and services are. Our customer case studies always focus on how we have saved the client time or money. In a recent survey 73% of b2b buyers said they rely on case studies to help them make buying decisions. Backed by good quality photography, we can secure high quality media coverage, both printed and online for manufacturer case studies.
2) Exhibitions: If you attend trade shows, it is really important to use them not only to network with customers but to invite editors to meet with you or to see a product launch on your stand. That way, it builds relations and delivers benefits for a long time after the show finishes.
We find that exhibitions are a great place to meet our editor contacts and where we can suggest ideas for future articles. If editors become familiar with a product or service after seeing it on a stand or having spoken to you about it, we find that they are then much more receptive when we contact them to cover a new product launch or authoritative article.
3) Thought leadership articles: Another way that we generate results for our industrial clients is by writing thought leadership articles for the main target media.
Trade publications are looking for content to fill each issue as editorial departments have decreased in size and often just one editor has responsibility for a number of publications. Editors are therefore usually quite happy to accept guest contributors who have knowledge of the industry and can present technical information in an easy to digest format. When we write thought leadership articles as part of the PR campaign, our clients soon become seen as industry leaders and as an authoritative voice on the subject. Once an exclusive article has appeared, we then redraft it for use on blogs, in newsletters and on social media, making the very best use of all content we generate.
4) A press release is a great way to announce a new product or service. Press releases are the ‘bread and butter’ of any PR campaign and often their inclusion depends on good editorial relationships. Some of our best results have come from securing inclusion on high quality industrial websites such as the Engineer, with a link back to our clients’ website.
So, now we’ve demonstrated how a PR campaign can work for your manufacturing business. What are the first steps to getting started?
- Set your goals
Consider what you are looking to achieve through PR. Is it more traffic to your website? Is it increased visibility in a particular industry sector? Do you want to position yourself as a thought leader on a certain topic? If you know what you’re trying to achieve through public relations, it will be easier to measure the results.
- Prioritise ideas and objectives
With a PR campaign, we can’t focus on everything at once, so manufacturers need to think about what their objectives are for the short and long term. With PR, you usually see a return on investment within three months and now we focus on digital PR as much as in printed magazines, the lead times can be much shorter. After six months, we carry out a review of results and success so far, it can be surprising just how much can be achieved in this time!
- Choose the right PR partner
Public Relations is a specialist skill and often marketing departments do not have the resource and the time to dedicate to responding to magazine enquiries, creating PR plans and seeking out thought leadership opportunities. Outsourcing to a specialist manufacturing PR agency, like Dragonfly PR, is often the best way. Be sure to choose an agency that has expertise in your industry and that can demonstrate a proven track record of results.
So if you would like a hand with planning and/or implementing a Public Relations, Content Marketing or Social Media campaign, speak to the industrial PR team at Dragonfly PR. We have over 15 years’ experience in business to business marketing, with expertise in PR for manufacturers, for construction sector companies and other related industrial areas. To speak to one of our experienced PR team here in Sheffield, call 0114 349 5345 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.