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Public Relations (PR) – Why it is so important.

So, what does PR mean?


Well, it’s short for public relations and refers to how you plan to communicate from your business to your customers and the general public.

I love a plan!


If you can decide on what you would like to communicate, and when to communicate, then it becomes something to work with and towards.


My plans are always broken down into months of the full year to start with and then I can add into each month the topics and subjects I want to ‘shout’ about.



There are always going to be the seasonal and occasions to talk about, so they go into the plan without saying. Then there will also be future ‘stuff’ going on that you can add in, but remember, that there will more than likely be last-minute opportunities for you to add to the plan too, so allow for these topics in your plan.


The different ways that you can communicate are plentiful and may be as simple as an email newsletter, a blog, a column on your website, a post on social media platforms, a sign in your shop or simply calling the local newspaper and radio and TV stations. All of these are excellent and if you communicate through all of these platforms, you are certainly doing the ground work for achieving great PR for your business and brand.


When I owned my shop, I was certainly keen to get as much free publicity as possible. With any excuse, I would call newspapers and radio stations to whet their appetite for a story about me, my team and my flowers!


For example, one year, it was the European football competition and I created a footballer’s wives’ bouquet (for the husbands/partners who were away watching matches, to send to their loved ones who were staying at home). I ended up with a full double-page spread of me in a Leeds United kit with a football and the footballer’s wife bouquet in my hand in the Yorkshire Evening Post!

I could not have paid for that level of publicity and it’s that type of PR that stands out.


There is a saying:

“Advertising is what you pay for and publicity is what you pray for”.

It is so true. Try not to pay for advertising if you can possibly think of other ways that will give you as much, if not more, coverage.


Why is PR so important?


Because, it puts you and your brand in front of an audience that you may not have been known to previously.


Human beings can be very fickle and if you don’t resonate with them, they will forget you. In other words, if you don’t remind consumers who you are and what you offer, they will just move on to another florist who has perhaps created good PR.


Once you have a customer, hold on to them. Customer loyalty is what every good business in the land wants…it’s what keeps a business going.


Topics for PR.

Here is a list of topics I would recommend that you include in your PR plan over 12 months:

  • Occasions and peak periods

  • Unusual occasions that generally are not thought about

  • Sporting events – locally, nationally & internationally

  • Public events – locally, nationally & internationally

  • Local news of new developments with charities, schools, good causes

  • Flower news! New unusual varieties, new growers etc

  • If you or your team members have won any awards, competitions, recognition

  • Special event work

  • If you are holding any demonstrations, workshops or classes

  • Have you a new type of delivery vehicle – what’s special and different about it?


So many opportunities, but you have to plan and make time……..

 

With over 35 years’ experience, Karen Barnes is one of the UK’s leading consultants to the floral industry and an expert in product development, future trends & colours, and floral photography design & planning. She’s an interior floral designer, high profile wedding and event floral planner, and prominent international competition judge. ​In a distinguished career, Karen has been awarded gold medals at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show, selected to judge two Floral Design World Cups and been voted one of the top ten florists in the UK by The Independent on Sunday Newspaper. ​Her style and influences come from new and popular flower varieties, fashion, art, travel and emerging trends on a global scale. Karen Barnes NDSF, IoPF, AIFD, CFD, CAFA, UKFJG

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