What Is PR, and How Do You Implement a PR Program?

As an OPE dealer, you might not think you need a Public Relations (PR) campaign. After all, aren’t PR campaigns used by giant corporations? Why would your dealership need one of those?

PR campaigns or programs are not slick, savvy marketing campaigns designed to “hoodwink” your customers. A PR program is just another term for a plan to show the public you’re part of the community. And yes, your dealership definitely needs one.

PR programs are much more than just advertising. It’s a multi-faceted approach to getting more exposure for your dealership, and getting people to know, like, and trust you and your business. PR programs put a personal face on your dealership.

So, how do you put one together? Well, think of a PR program like a hand; there’s a wide base, and several different fingers reaching out. Your PR plan needs to have several “fingers” reaching out into the community.

Step 1: Send out Press Releases

A press release is nothing more than a one-page “announcement” you send out to your local newspaper or magazine to let them know of a potential story idea.

The key to getting exposure for a press release is to make it interesting from the editor’s point of view. All they care about is a good story; they’re not interested in just promoting your business.

What can you write a press release about? Anything at all, as long as it’s newsworthy and you can make it interesting. This is especially true if you’re doing good things in the community, like implementing a recycling program and safely disposing of oil in your business, or hosting a charity event.

Well-written press releases can get you a ton of free press in the newspaper and in the local news.

Step 2: Get Involved With Your Community

Are you on the School Board? Does your dealership host a Little League team? Do you collect canned food each December for your local food pantry?

Your dealership needs to be involved with your community on a personal level. This is a huge part of a PR program, but it takes advance planning.

For instance, if you want to collect food for your food pantry in December, then start planning in July or August. Send out a press release in early November so the paper can run the story before the collection begins.

It’s helpful to plan out an entire year’s community events so you can make sure you have all your bases covered.

You can use your OPE business software as a powerful marketing tool in your PR program. For example, you could send an email out to customers letting them know of the upcoming food drive (or other events) and invite them to come to drop off donations.

Last Word…

A PR program is nothing more than a multi-faceted plan to get more exposure for your business. Just keep in mind what “PR” stands for Public Relations. Focus on putting a personal face on your business; get involved with your community, and prove that you’re an integral part just like everyone else.