When it comes to public relations and reputation management, industrialist and philanthropist Henry Ford summed it up best with this well-known quote: “You can’t build a reputation on what you are going to do.”
Successful leaders know firsthand how much effort is required to build a solid reputation. But all that hard work can fade away quickly in today’s digital world. To stay ahead of the game, leaders can take advantage of the power of PR to enhance their reputation in their industry and their local communities. Here are four ways to do it:
1. Use publicity to build your reputation
Generating media coverage is one of the best ways to build your reputation.
Generating media coverage is one of the best ways to build your reputation. While local and national media are obvious targets to place stories, B2B executives should also focus on trade industry magazines and similar niche websites. Determine which business media are the most important to you and your company and offer to be a resource to the editors and journalists. Also volunteer to contribute bylined columns or guest blogs.
Remember, reliability and timing are essential when it comes to media relations and getting publicity. So return calls promptly from journalists and always follow through if requested to provide additional information. By establishing a mutually beneficial relationship with media gatekeepers, they’ll be more likely to call you in the future for your expertise.
2. Be a thought leader through blogging
Blogging is another key tactic to build awareness and credibility. Blogging allows you to position yourself as a subject matter expert and share your views on significant issues and trends affecting your company’s industry. Blogging regularly (at least one post per week) also increases the probability that your posts will be picked up by other experts and, hopefully, journalists covering your industry.
3. Secure public speaking engagements
If you are running a company or managing a business, you are an expert – otherwise you’d be out of business or a job. Trade industry associations, civic groups and other professional organizations – at the local, regional and national levels – need experts to speak at their conferences or meetings. Reach out to friends and peers in your professional and personal network to secure speaking opportunities to enhance your reputation in the marketplace. Be sure to promote your speaking engagement and post a short blog about your topic and the event.
4. Make sure to have a social media presence
Being active on social media, especially LinkedIn for B2B companies, should be part of every reputation management strategy. Joining social media conversations allows you to engage directly with users who are interested in you and your company’s product or service. Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are also useful in increasing awareness and connecting with the media and peers. One important point: Don’t hit “send” on your posts until you have thoroughly reviewed what you have written. Don’t let one impulsive post to ruin the reputation you’ve worked so hard to establish.
Reputations are built and nurtured through consistent actions both online and offline. It’s part brand management and part traditional PR. When done effectively, it will enhance not only your reputation, but help generate positive awareness about your company with current and prospective customers.