If you have something newsworthy, a small investment in communications can work wonders, as Tyson Bowens explains in this instalment of Marketing for manufacturers.
As a communications professional with a background in engineering, it is easy to understand how manufacturers can overlook marketing and communications. Public Relations (PR), and its related disciplines of media relations, corporate communications, and government relations, can be viewed as something of a lost lead, something the business does not have time for, or something that just isn’t understood.
In fact, I once consulted to a large manufacturer who took the view that they make the product, I promote it – a view that I understand, but one that I do not agree with. Manufacturing is more than production, and involves many steps either side of the physical act of manufacturing a product. To overlook, or dismiss, the benefits of good PR and communications activities is akin to foregoing the opportunity to promote the full value add in pre- and post-production.
AMGC is often asked about the value of PR and our response is always the same. If you are willing to invest a small amount of time, budget and resources to PR activities, the returns to the business can be significant. Often manufacturers are sitting on a treasure trove of media gold and don’t know it. To realise the value in this information, manufacturers need to seek advice from someone who understands news value and tease it out.
Over the past 12 months, two significant examples demonstrating the power of PR come to mind. The first being a Western Australian manufacturer developing leading-edge, high-output electric motors which have the potential to revolutionise transportation. HyperPower worked with AMGC to conduct a media tour of its facility and to discuss its technology and aspirations.
The resulting coverage spawned in their words a “near-on viral coverage….from outlets around the world. This brought in many enquiries for our tech and products.” – fantastic. Since this time, these leads have turned into customers, generating additional revenues and opportunity for HyperPower. The cost? Help from a PR professional, a few cups of tea, some time, a few photos, and a willingness to tell their story.
The second PR event involved a little bit more planning, investment and time, but generated unquestionable value to the company. DOFTEK is an Australian company reinventing the way your vehicle’s wheels engage with the road. As a startup, DOFTEK needed to build its profile and get noticed by the international automotive manufacturing industry. AMGC worked with DOFTEK to design a virtual press conference (owing to COVID) to introduce its technology to local and international motoring media. The result: significant coverage which opened doors to auto manufacturers from across the globe.
In both instances, these companies worked with a communications professional to assist with developing a program that worked within the boundaries of their budget, resources and importantly IP constraints. What a communications professional can bring to an activity is a fresh set of eyes, an understanding of the media environment and more importantly a critical eye for what is news.
That last point is key. Once a manufacturer understands what newsworthy information it has, a PR campaign can then be designed to suit. For most, a media release supported by good quality imagery (shot by a professional, not an employee and an iPhone) and a targeted media list are a good start. Any good PR Professional can assist but do look at their expertise to ensure you are engaging with the right type of professional that matches your business capability and customer target.
To get you thinking about how PR may be able to boost your business profile, generate customer enquiries or to tell your story, I have developed the following PR guide to assist you in the first steps. Just remember, you only get one opportunity to make a first impression and any investment in PR activity is a sound one when done right.
AMGC’s PR GUIDE
Engage a professional
Know your audience, tailor your message
Know how to communicate it
Have resources at the ready
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