Monday, October 7, 2013

Ignore PR at your peril















'No matter what size business, working to leverage good public relations and garner community exposure can be a major differentiator.'


By Brian Birch, CAE
We all challenge ourselves to get better at our profession. In the process, we tend to focus more on the things we are good at. In the snow industry, many professionals excel at planning, organizing and servicing customers. But there are other areas that may be neglected because they fall outside your comfort zone.

One such area is public relations. Many small business owners tend to discount the power of this function and struggle to justify its value. But generational shifts coupled with changing trends in technology and media are creating unique opportunities for even the smallest business to share its message. 

Last year SIMA launched a full-scale awareness campaign for the industry, called the Impact of Snow. In the process, we found that our industry's relationship to weather is extremely attractive to local and regional media outlets. This led to an unplanned but welcome addition to the resources available to SIMA members. 

During the campaign, we unveiled the official SIMA Member PR Toolkit, which includes news release and article templates, tips for engaging local and regional media, and creative ideas companies can use to gain quality PR exposure for their business.

No matter what size business, working to leverage good public relations and garner community exposure can be a major differentiator. Start thinking about the major trends and how you can become more adept at managing public relations more effectively. You can use the SIMA Member PR Toolkit to get started. Members can download it for free at www.sima.org/resources.

Brian Birch, CAE is chief operating officer of SIMA. Contact him at brian@sima.org.

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