Each month ERSA’s PR partners Fivefold share their advice and practical tips on maximising your organisation’s communications. In the first of the series, Helen Wardle, Director of Fivefold, explains why it’s important to shout about your success.

A company’s reputation goes before them. It’s quite an obvious statement, but it’s true. A company’s reputation does determine their success and, if it’s positive, helps them to move forward. Public relations (PR) is all about managing and positively building reputation and employer brand.

I often hear from organisations who are struggling to build their brand and grow as a business, unsure of the best way to do this. One of the key pieces of advice I can give is to shout about their success. Sharing good news is a fundamental first step in mobilising PR activity.

PR can be regarded as an intangible nice-to-do. It isn’t.

While I agree that its outcomes may sometimes be difficult to measure, it absolutely does contribute to the bottom-line. And done well, it can snowball – having a far broader impact on a company’s future than many perceive. Not to mention the regular contractual need to demonstrate positive outcomes to commissioners.

It doesn’t need to involve costly campaigns, you’re probably already sitting on a goldmine of material that could be used for a variety of PR purposes.

PR channels

There are many ways to positively utilise good news stories, successful outcomes, and the expertise of your teams:

Stretch the benefits

Put off by the time and effort needed for PR? Don’t be! Just one case study or blog can be used in a multitude of ways, so use it well.

Case studies, for example, can be repurposed to support award entries, be sent to your local MP, or bolster newsletter content – whether it’s a participant’s journey in finding employment; a working partnership with another organisation; or an outreach initiative going well. The same case study could spark an amazing podcast interview with the participant or be picked up by a journalist looking for a particular angle… Be creative in how you use the material. The trick is to build up a regular stream of leads and available material – have positive pieces ready for the opportune moment.

Reap the rewards of its reach

It’s staggering to think about the hundreds, even thousands, of prospective referrals, participants, or future employees you could reach through crafting good news stories; driving people towards your website and social media channels.

Also consider the impact of publishing positive stories among your workforce. Applauding the people you work with is a powerful way of boosting morale and productivity, while generating more material as a result, so make full use of your intranet and internal communication channels. Noticeboards near the kettle needn’t just hold the fire escape procedure!

Share your good news with ERSA too for sharing with senior decision makers. And it may not end there. National media will often look to industry news sites for published comments.

Genuine messages resonate more powerfully with people, so there’s no need to exaggerate or add gloss – honesty appeals. Just ensure it’s checked for typos, spelling, and grammar glitches.

Consider risk mitigation

Responding to media enquiries with a relevant success story is very powerful. Building a bank of good news stories means you’re ready and prepared to boost your organisation’s brand and credibility should the need arise.

Seeking the limelight

It may be hard work at first to unearth suitable success stories, but once your teams start to see them published, more will flow. As the limelight spreads, PR can become self-perpetuating.

If you’ve found this blog useful and would like a chat with PR professionals adept at working with employability and learning providers, visit www.fivefold.ltd or contact Helen Wardle on 07757 355339.