A public relations campaign can be an effective and cost effective tool for businesses that want to build awareness of their brand. Many business owners are unaware of just how important public relations is, preferring instead to place an emphasis on advertising. Business owners should consider how advertising is viewed as opposed to the neutral coverage of a product. Public relations campaigns are all about establishing credibility and the endorsement of a neutral third party is often given far more credence than the business’s own advertising.
The main goal of any public relations campaign is to create a credible and positive image for the client’s brand. Viral marketing is one of the more effective ways to do this. At its essence, viral marketing is using the human tendency to share information as a way to increase awareness of a brand. Marketing via word of mouth is not a new phenomenon; it has been around for a long time and is easily the most effective way to draw attention to a brand. People trust their network far more than they ever will an advertisement, no matter how well-thought out an ad may be. The Internet has greatly enhanced the ability to share information and can enable word of your brand to spread quickly.
How to Make Your Brand Message Go Viral
Some viral marketing successes have been accidental, flukes that no one could have predicted; however, many have been deliberate and completely orchestrated. It is possible to harness the power of shared content to promote your business. It is relatively easy to orchestrate viral marketing success with a public relations campaign. The essential ingredients of viral success include:
- Published content that makes the sender look good when shared among their contacts.
- News about your business should include evocative images that tie directly into your products or services.
- Brand-related content should trigger emotions in the audience. Happiness, sadness and anger are all motivations to share.
- Information that is useful to your audience is extremely shareable. This is data that will provide concrete benefits.
- The information should be presented in a form that makes it easy to read and to process.
A well-engineered public relations campaign can provide all of the above. Most importantly, a public relations campaign can ensure that the message of your business comes from a credible source. The credibility that public relations generates can keep your message from being dismissed as advertising.