Basic Public Relations

my name isA while ago, we traveled to Oahu with a friend and client who is also a local college culinary arts professor. We were eating at a restaurant and as soon as the waitress approached, our client looked at the waitress' name tag and addressed her by name. After Kara took our order, our client explained, “You know, I always put this question on my students’ test: what’s the name of the janitor who cleans here?” He said that students in the service industry need to understand that everyone in a restaurant is important, from the dishwasher to the chef, and should be recognized for making the business work.
contractThe one thing all of our potential clients, large and small, want to know when they’re considering hiring us is, “How does it work?” Hiring any consultant is an investment so it’s important to be prepared before jumping in. We can’t tell you how all consultants work, but we can give you an overview of what happens before we sign a contract with a client.
We hear it time and time again...a business needs a quick, cheap, easy, effective way to reach out to customers. One solution is doing an email blast, or eblast, which is an email message that is sent to a mass recipient list. An eblast can be sent once-in-a-while or regularly, such as a monthly e-newsletter. We recommend doing eblasts via online email marketing companies, such as Mail Chimp, Constant Contact, or Vertical Response. These companies allow you to upload and maintain your contact list on their websites, and their programs have the ability to send your email to hundreds or thousands of people safely and effectively. In some cases, if an individual sent an email to a lengthy list of recipients from their own email account, their recipients email servers could automatically block the message as spam, or junk mail. With Constant Contact or Vertical Response, you can rest assured that all the hard work that you put in your email message was worth it and your email will get to your customer. Let's delve more into the reasons that eblasts are quick, cheap, easy and effective.
Information is moving at the speed of light these days, and while email can be a quick and convenient business tool, it’s worth it to take the time and care to use them well.  Your customers' perceptions of your business are not only derived from your store front or offerings, but by all the different ways you put yourself out into the public.  Good email etiquette is just as important as having a good product, service, or return policy.  Below are a few common examples of business email best practices that can give you a PR advantage:
One thing’s for sure, you realize how important timing is when it’s bad. Like when you have a nine-pound fully-cooked ham and you think it’ll only take 15 minutes to warm up until you realize the directions say 15 minutes per pound. Or when you buy a load of stock and the next day the price falls $10 per share and isn’t expected to recover for the next few years.  Well, it’s the same thing in PR. Timing is critical.
Press ReleaseHow do reporters know about all the important things happening in the community? One of the most common ways news stories are generated is through press releases. A press, or news, release is a document that is issued to the media and highlights a newsworthy topic about an organization or individual, in hopes that the media will print or broadcast the story. While social media and other emerging methods of pitching stories to reporters are increasingly available, the traditional press release can go a long way for many businesses. 
Do you know what the first rule is of getting what you want? Ask. Yes, that’s it. We have been intrigued over the years at how often nonprofits simply forget to ask for a donation. By the same token, prior to the recent election, many candidates whom we know, some very well, never asked directly for our vote. Whether it’s fundraising, political campaigning, or selling a product or service, you must connect with your potential donors, voters, or consumers and ask them to do what you want them to. The PR key is asking the right people in a gracious and effective way, at the right time.
We’ve all seen those promotions that companies use to try and attract new customers – gifts, cut rates, special offers, etc.  Those kinds of efforts are great and there is a place for recruiting new business, for sure. But what about your current customers, those folks that have stuck with you through all the economic ups and downs, those donors who give a little each year? They are your most valuable assets, and they deserve stewarding and attention.
We recently had the good fortune to attend a scholarship luncheon where we met scholarship recipients and their parents. It was interesting to hear the stories of how parents raised these achievers, and what the students’ future plans were.  We made some striking observations.