PR 101 for small to medium sized businesses
As a business owner, it is prudent to prepare for the unexpected in all facets of your business’s activities ranging from reaching sales objectives to the sudden resignation of a key management team member.
One to not overlook is maintaining your corporate reputation ie. your capital image. (Yes, that’s indeed the name of our agency!)
When faced with a threat to your reputation, there is no time to scramble to piece together what you want to say. Winging it just won’t cut it and you would risk getting your views misrepresented.
Planning for the unforeseeable is like looking into a crystal ball but the point is to thoroughly examine possible scenarios and to have an action plan in place should the need arise. So get cracking and prepare ahead of time!
To be able to spring into action, create a master communications folder to refer to and equip your leadership team with the material ahead of time so they can review and keep the content on file.
Here is a quick checklist of what to include:
- General corporate key messages that describe your raison d’être
- Key messages that address specific areas of your business
- Key messages on the industry at large ie. what your company’s position is on a hot topic
- Issues management messaging, for example, an imminent industry change that could directly affect you
- Q&A ie. a list of difficult questions and how to answer them
- A media relations protocol i.e. procedures on the approvals process and how to go about when approached by the media including names of individuals who have the authority to respond
In some cases, business owners may need to see if an interview should be granted at all and review or reassess what your position is.
This is certainly where a communications contact or PR team’s involvement would be advisable due to a deep understanding of the public’s perception of your actions or inactions.
Alternatively, drafting a written response to be provided by email to a reporter, for instance, can be much less time consuming when the background material was prepared in advance.
If you anticipate a need to develop communications materials of any kind to either promote your business or to protect its reputation, Capital-Image can help you, as well as identify best practices and the way to heighten your corporate reputation, we invite you to contact us.