Building Business Relationships

Are you struggling to create and keep profitable customers? Columns for Sales and Marketing Management who wants to build business relationships.
Wednesday, September 17, 2003

5 questions about weblogs answered

If you don't yet know what a web log (or weblog, blog, ...) is then consider a comprehensive article by Debbie Weil entitled, 5 key questions (you've been dying) to ask about business blogs. Weil covers:

While her article is written for content providers, I think it is appropriate to executives who are considering using internal weblogs to communicate with staff. I cover some other uses of weblogs and my own suggestions in Weblogs will have a greater role in project management.

Justin Hitt helps executive build stronger relationships that can increase profits and create loyal customers. For more information visit Inside Strategic Relations or call +1 (877) 207-3798

4:24:50 AM    Join Newsletter

Why PR is the Nail for the Hammer of Advertising (Abstract)

WHY PR IS THE NAIL FOR THE HAMMER OF ADVERTISING [Advertising Age]

While Al Ries' article Why PR is the Nail for the Hammer of Advertising (AdAge.com, 15 Sept 2003) speaks of selling political canidates, it's advice is valuable for promoting your own products and services. The basis of the article is that public relations lends credibility and increases brand awareness to an advertising campaigns.

Let me add, new business relationships are built on familiarity, public relations opens the door to future transations. This is why I find Ries intecandidatestransactionsresting in the context of the professional business to business organization.

Here are highlights on the original article with commentary:

  1. No room for No. 2.  In most markets the number two position has little or no value, example used was political campaigns, second choice doesn't get elected.  Consider a large one-time purchases, once a customer makes the purchase, they aren't likely to get another from you.  Great public relations increases the comfort level of decision makers and influences their decision.
  2. Inefficient, but still winning.  Pubic relations can set your product in a favorable position for short targeted efforts to be more profitable. If you're top engineer is featured as an expert on a national news program, usually ineffective image advertising ran in the same slot can tie the value of information to your particular product. Lead generation is more likely to produce inquires.
  3. Word of mouth.  Public relations is the prelude to a marketing push, preparing the market to receive what you have to offer. Public relations can break down barriers to acceptance, even debating what buyers should consider in a similar purchase. Set your own bias for selection even before you make an offer by getting people talking about what you offer.
  4. Credibility.  When your company is featured in the news, or your people as experts, you gain a certain level of credibility. This third-party presentation creates a favorable opinion in the minds of your buyers. This exposure positions your product in the context of your coverage. (News outlets aren't in the business of promoting your company, so you must be newsworthy.)
  5. Going away from the core brand.  Public relations can reinforce key brand characteristics, further demonstrating why existing customers do business with your company. This reestablishment of a strong position in customers or prospects minds further increases viewer comfort level for a buy decision when faced with your next offer.

Ries sums up the entire article with "Advertising is a hammer and works best when PR has set the nail first" -- it really can't be said any clearer than that.

Al Ries is the author of several books on marketing, including The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR. Chairman of Ries & Ries, and Atlantic based marketing strategy firm.

Justin Hitt teaches executives strategies to improve business relationships that can increase revenues while reducing costs of service. Publisher of Inside Strategic Relations, a twice-monthly newsletter.

4:03:30 AM    Join Newsletter

Weblogs contribute to relationship building for business

An extension on my building business relationships with your website, Terry Frazier shares Building Business Relationships via the Blog. Web logs serve an important role of humanizing interactive mediums such as the Internet.  Readers have the opportunity to comment, quote, and even discuss entries-- providing almost instant feedback from customers interested in the topic discussed.

You must have a clear purpose for your web log.  The most ideal use for web logs is to share knowledge about a particular topic or category of topics. As a broadcast medium web logs tend to reach those most interested in the topic, or can then contribute through their own web log posting. Through comments and trackback a web of knowledge is documented for searching.

Trackbacks are a record of references to the current log entry by other sites.  The dynamic nature of the web lets readers easily link between sites in the context of the information provided. In this one-to-many medium, trackbacks help map interconnected knowledge. 

With all the advantages that web logs have, it is no excuse not to utilize traditional media formats and other face-to-face forums.  Consider web logs like open journals to share ideas once they are ready for documentation-- like a record of the decision making and analytical work of business.

Related insights to consider: More on blogs and business relationships, It is time to bring blogging home in the business world, The Power of Knowledge Sharing, Blogs and Business Relationships

Justin Hitt teaches executives strategies to improve business relationships that can increase revenues while reducing costs of service. Publisher of Inside Strategic Relations, a twice-monthly newsletter.

3:18:51 AM    Join Newsletter

Last update: 04/08/2004; 2:35:38 PM.

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