Using the Power of PR to Influence Business

By Karla Jo Helms

The most sought after commodity of PR is when word-of-mouth buzz is like an avalanche and you can’t stop – but how does one go about getting it?

power-and-influence-at-workPR is all about how you define yourself as a business and how you position yourself and less about selling your product or service.  A good PR strategy involves knowing how to reach the critical mass by building confidence in the potential consumer well in advance of promoting your product or service to the market.

Using Influence to Create Critical Mass

What is critical mass and how is it used in public relations?  Critical mass is where your reputation supercedes you – it’s where people know of who you are before you know them, and when your PR image reaches this stage it takes on a life of its own. Therefore it is vitally important you take the time to mold your PR image carefully and strategically.

Critical mass initially involves taking an in depth look at your specific target market in order to find out how they can help create word of mouth for your business with people they know who have yet to do business with you.  Once you have a good grasp on this information there is a multitude of services that you can use in PR to build up a referral system which does not have to solely originate with your first-level client base.

The Relationship of Critical Mass and PR

PR is about the quality of the advice you offer which is relevant to your area of expertise, the professional image you portray, the type of help you give which increases people’s confidence in you and the example you set that proves you do know what you are talking about.

If people know what they are getting from you and believe you by the proof that you can SHOW in your PR, they will not think twice about telling others and sending you referrals.

PR should work like a good book that you have read or a great restaurant you have tried which you usually tell your friends about.  Good PR produces an overwhelming response.  And when PR successfully reaches critical mass, the referrals that flow into your business increase at such a high rate that the effort you put in is smaller than all of the referral business you are receiving.

And….did you notice that we have not discussed anything about telling others how great you are or selling your product or service?  Why?  Because once you have the critical mass flowing in as a result of the advice and help you offer, this naturally increases your return on investment when it comes to marketing your product or service.

Okay… you are probably thinking “If PR is all about reaching the critical mass how come I am not getting the results I expect from a PR campaign?”  This is because many people are confused about the difference between PR and marketing and most PR campaigns use a marketing approach rather than a PR approach.

There is a huge difference and when you approach PR from a marketing standpoint, as it tends to backfire on you where a PR campaign is about establishing a reputation backed by real products.

About Karla Jo Helms:

kj-3Karla Jo is the CEO and visionary behind JoTo PR, who cut her teeth in PR via Crisis Management, working with litigation attorneys, private investigators and the media to help restore companies of goodwill back into the graces of public opinion. Karla Jo learned firsthand how brutal business could be when there were millions of dollars to be had – and how to navigate those treacherous waters via control of public opinion. Since then, Karla Jo has patterned her agency on a combination of her hard-won Public Relations experience, uncompromising high standards and exacting nationwide market research across multiple industries. She is a hands-on executive who hand picks the PR professionals who work on her team to ensure client results always meet client expectations. Helms speaks globally on Public Relations and how corporations can harness it to drive markets.  

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