Public Relations. As a managed service provider, you may be unsure if you really need public relations. After all, you’re not Google or Microsoft, you most likely don’t have crises in the media. But if your brand recognition is low, you have a small online presence, and you’ve never been in the press— then you need public relations.
1. Be Active in the Press
The press. Many organizations would like to stay as far away from the media as possible. What if your good press becomes bad press once its broadcasted? What if the reporter takes your words and spins them until you no longer recognize them? Relax. This isn’t a Hollywood movie.
While those scenarios can happen, it’s still an excellent goal for your organization to be in local online publications. Having the name of your company in large publications with a following is a great way to boost your brand recognition, come in contact with a larger audience, and attract more leads.
To get started, write press releases around large events for your company. As a managed service provider, examples of press-worthy events could be 10 or 20 year anniversaries, grand openings of new locations, or the release of new software. Writing a press release around these events keeps your company away from controversy and gives you some control over the eventual article. Send the press release to carefully selected journalists who are active in the tech community and have written similar articles in the past.
2. Build Brand Recognition
One public relations for managed service providers goal should be for your market to start recognizing your name as an industry leader. When your targeted demographic is searching for a managed service provider, you want your company’s name to come to the forefront of their mind. Public relations for managed service providers is a great place to start.
You can also build brand recognition by boosting your activity on social media. Companies with an active presence on social media are given more credibility by younger audiences. It also gives your clients another way to interact with you and humanizes your company.
Because you’re targeting a niche market, a referral program is a great way to spread your brand through word of mouth. As a managed service provider, you may target specific industries. Perhaps you work with medical offices or manufacturers. Once you start working with one client, they’ll be more likely to refer you to other business owners in the industry if you offer a referral reward. For example, for every referral, the business owner could receive a certain portion off their monthly payment for your services. This creates a win-win situation. Your client receives a discount, and you receive more customers.
3. Be Socially Aware
Companies that are socially active are highly sought after. Make sure that you align your company with a cause or are active in your community. For example, set a service hours goal for you and your employees. Take some time out of your working week to volunteer at the soup kitchen or an animal shelter.
If you align your company with a cause, take part in activities that support it, such as Relays for Life. Or, you can donate part of your proceeds towards the cause. People are more likely to choose a company that is socially aware, compared to one who has no social impact. Especially in younger generations, audiences like to see the companies they support give back to the community.
When you do take advantage of service opportunities, promote them on social media. However, you need to do so carefully. You do not want to come across as though the only reason you volunteer is to appear socially aware. (And, if that is your reason for volunteering, I would suggest refraining from volunteering at all.) Promote the cause not your business.
4. Monitor Your Online Presence
In the digital age, situations can change quickly. Make sure you constantly monitor your company’s online reputation. Keep an eye on popular reviewing sites, such as Yelp, and respond to all reviews— both good and bad. Public relations for managed service providers feeds off of activity, not necessarily just good activity. Potential leads will be impressed by your prompt responses to all reviews. It shows that you care what your customers think.
Keep an eye on the data. Follow your social media analytics closely, checking them at least once a week if not daily. These insights will keep you informed about how many people are discussing your company, following your page, and engaging with your posts.
The more people who discuss your company, the larger your online presence and the more brand recognition you’ll have.
5. Manage your Reputation
In case you do find yourself with more bad reviews than good or a company scandal appears, don’t be afraid to dive into the situation. Take a hard look at your company and see if the reviews are telling the truth. Most likely, there’s some truth to them if you consistently receive less than three stars. If you find a problem with your technicians training or customer service, then address the issue and make it public that you’re doing so.
There’s no shame in publicly announcing that you’re working to improve your company. As a managed service provider, your clients shouldn’t change often. As a matter of fact, you most likely see the same people month after month. In this subscription service model, the customer experience is paramount. If they have a bad experience, make it public that you’re working to change it.
Hire A Professional
The world of public relations can often be akin to walking a tightrope. Sending the wrong press release to the press can result in minimal or even harmful coverage. Promoting social awareness in the wrong way can lead to a negative brand reputation.
Don’t take the risk. Choose a marketing company with public relations experience. Choose New North.
We serve both technology and consulting industries and customize your marketing and public relations experience to suit your goals. We work to deeply understand your business and your customers’ needs, and then we work with you to develop campaigns that transform your expertise into real results.
If you’re looking for help with public relations for managed service providers, call New North today.