Good PR is the lifeblood of businesses large and small. No business can survive without either customers or sales, and PR is at the heart of the relationship linking them together. In a business context, PR might be thought of as the management of the relationship between the business and its ‘audience’. Within this relationship, the two fundamental elements which need managing are a company’s image and a company’s reputation. Clearly there is an overlap between the two but they are often treated separately.
Image and reputation
PR is as much about managing the way information reaches the public domain as it is about the information itself. It is about taking full control of your business’s image and reputation. A key part of this is how your business deals with negative publicity, or worse still with a major crisis. How a business handles a crisis can be the making or breaking of it, and equally of the personnel tasked with handling it. This leads into the realm of media relations, which recognises the power of the media in shaping an organisation’s image in the eyes of the public. One of the inescapable truths about PR is that several years of hard work enhancing a company’s image and reputation can be undone very rapidly in the event of a crisis. It is vital therefore that plans on how to deal with such a crisis are drawn up long in advance, and not as the crisis is unfolding and overwhelming the company in question.
A phone conference is an effective way of building links with other people and a good opportunity to enhance your company’s reputation. Essentially, phone conferencing is a form of networking, although as it is ‘live’ you need to be ready to think on your feet. A phone conference might be conducted with existing or potential customers, so make sure you’re well prepared and professional in your approach. Projecting the right image of you and your company in the course of a phone conference is an important part of your overall PR strategy.
Picture: Thomas von Stetten – Fotolia