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Everyone Can Be Your Cheerleaders: Put Your "Champions" to Work for You in Public Relations

 

Guest articles > Everyone Can Be Your Cheerleaders: Put Your "Champions" to Work for You in Public Relations

 

by: Robert Deigh

 

Your company has customers, members, vendors, board members and others who are rooting for you to succeed. You just have to ask! Wouldn’t you root for and help out an organization that you liked and provided you with good service? I call these people “champions.”

Champions may have no vested interest in your success except that they are happy with the service you provide, they like you and your team personally, they admire your drive, want to help you push ahead of the competition and would be very proud to look back one day and know that they helped an industry powerhouse when it was just a few people in a little rented office.

Champions can include:

  • Customers
  • Former customers
  • Board members
  • Colleagues in your trade association
  • Colleagues in your chamber of commerce
  • Employees
  • Former employees
  • Vendors
  • Partners
  • Investors
  • Friends
  • Family members

Six benefits that champions can provide for you:

  1. Provide them with your key messages and ask them to speak with the media if the occasion arises.
  2. Have them write testimonials for your Web site and your marketing and sales kits (you can draft these testimonials yourself and have them modify the words according to their own style – nothing wrong with that). Make sure your collection of testimonials addresses the language in those all-important corporate messages we learned about above.
  3. Draft up an article for their byline in an industry publication
  4. They can call prospects and brag about how happy they are with your products and services.
  5. They can serve as an advisory committee
  6. They can mention your company in presentations they make to industry groups.

Seven ways to treat your champions like the royalty they are:

  1. When you need a favor, don’t be afraid to ask. Champions want to contribute their expertise and skill, so let them. Most of the time you’ll need for them to do nothing more than make a phone call or two.
  2. Keep them up to date on your organization. Make them feel part of the “family.” Send champions your company newsletters, press releases, press clips and other public communication.
  3. Invite them to an all-staff meeting once a year – and provide lunch -- to get to know your team. If they are customers, let them tell your employees firsthand how their work really makes a difference.
  4. Cross promote their organizations with your own. If you have a newsletter, mention them occasionally as a company you like. Put information about them on your Web site, if appropriate.
  5. Send reporters their way if they would make good sources for any appropriate stories even if the story would have nothing to do with your company.
  6. Send them a small token of appreciation once in a while.
  7. Invite them to industry events as your guest.

Don’t forget one of your most important audiences: employees. They are also among your most influential champions. Employees who are treated well and enjoy their work are happy to talk about it with others.

 


Robert Deigh is principal of RDC Communication/PR and the author of "How Come No One Knows About Us?" (WBusiness Books, available May 2008), the PR guide for organizations large and small that want to win big visibility. Deigh helps organizations increase their visibility and build their brands by creating strong and positive relationships with the press and other audiences. He is also a well-known speaker and trainer on media and PR topics. Want more free info to build your business? Subscribe to Deigh’s popular monthly 1-page online newsletter “PR Quick Tips” from his website at www.rdccommunication.com. He can be reached via email at rdeigh1@aol.com, or by phone at 703-503-9321.


Contributor: Robert Deigh

Published here on: 17-Feb-08

Classification: PR

Website: www.rdccommunication.com

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