When many competitors offer similar products within the same marketplace, credibility and brand recognition are crucial to make your company/solution stand out from the crowd. Using public relations, you can improve your company’s visibility with potential customers (hotels!), establish credibility in the industry, shorten your sales cycle and boost your revenue.
Sounds good, right?
Let’s get started by answering your first question: what is PR (public relations)Êand how will it help me to sell my product/service to hotels?
What is public relations?
According to the Public Relations Society of America, ÒPublic relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.Ó
Ok, but what does that actually mean for you, a business that wants to increase sales?
PR is, at its core, about telling a story – a compelling story – that will generate interest and enter into the consciousness of potential customers. It’s about gaining recognition and mitigating negative attention. It’s about defining who and what a company is. PR is a highly effective tactic to educate potential customers, grow brand awareness and build credibility within the industry Ð all at a fraction of the cost of traditional marketing.
In practice, a B2B company can use PR to suggest stories and information to journalists about their company, product or service, in an attempt to secure editorial coverage. The more stories that you tell about your company, the more visible your brand will be. There is always a story to tell for every company, so be creative. Think about the problem that your product or service solves and explain why what you offer is valuable to your end-user. Has your product/service changed the industry in any way (positively) or does it signal a new trend in your industry? If so, tell media about it!
How can PR boost your company’s sales?
Brand awareness is a key component of a successful sales strategy; if your company has good brand awareness with decision-makers at hotels, you will receive more leads and have greater success in selling to each potential customer.
When shopping for a vendor, most hoteliers will start researching the companies that they already know and trust; however, if the buyer isn’t familiar with any suppliers, most will look for recommendations from trusted third-parties. Articles in a well-respected industry magazine/newspaper/blog automatically establish credibility for the company, product or service mentioned in the article, as potential customers will perceive the coverage as an endorsement from a trusted third-party. Having media endorsements for your company (a.k.a. articles about you) will ensure that you are at the top of the list when hotels begin the search for a new vendor.
As well, once the initial information request is made by a potential customer, there is another important benefit from PR: it will drastically shorten the sales cycle because the potential client already knows your level of expertise and trusts your company because they have read articles written about you, or written by you.
By Jennifer Nagy, President of JLNPR
JLNPR Inc. is a full-service public relations and marketing agency. To find out more about JLNPR (including our services and out-of-the-box philosophy on press releases), please visit www.jlnpr.com. To find out more about the DIY.JLNPR course, please contact Jennifer at [email protected]