This question is very much like keeping customer service up to date, so I will repost my first answer
Suggestions to help keep customer service up to date
1) Answer your phone.
2) Don't make promises unless you will keep them.
3) Listen to your customers.
4) Deal with complaints.
5) Be helpful - even if there's no immediate profit in it.
6) Train your staff (if you have any) to be always helpful, courteous, and knowledgeable.
7) Take the extra step.
Hi Moni, this bit caught my attention.
gotten themselves so immersed in the technology of the internet and building their web presence they have forgotten that public relations once involved actually meeting with the public in a more face-to-face fashion.
I agree, in fact, time after time I read posts here asking" how to get more visitors, clicks, revenue sales " or what ever to my webstore, site etc,.... and I groan.
I have posted the odd reply hinting that maybe they have placed to much faith in the Almighty IT and need to get out and do some personal marketing in their community.
This triggers the inevitable rush of "Snake Oil Sales People" posting their magic SEO services and the like to solve the problem.
Maybe I am being unkind, but to me it seems a bit like greed or looking for an easy way to make money.
Ok, some may have fallen prey to the pushy sales tactics, but I can't believe everyone is silly enough to think that they only need a web site and they can be top ranking with Google and become millionaires overnight!
I know the US is hurting bad, some people are truly desperate and will try anything and it is easy to sit back here in relative comfort and criticise, but I do feel for them.
But in the years I have been here I find the same sort of "culture" exists in many US companies, willing to throw money at technology solutions, but not so keen to get down and dirty in developing real relationships, as Lucky has pointed out.
I wrote an article a few years back detailing my experience in trying to research industry shredders [urban waste destruction] for a local body here in 2008.
These things are worth millions each and not something you sell a dozen of a day, the Japanese replied by phone within 24 hours, the Europeans were a few days slower and E-mailed their reply, but I had to make calls to a US company and for several days all I got was the company voicemail, with no reply to my messages. Finally i got lucky and a call back with apologies, the sales team had been at a conference all week!
By then it was a done deal, the order for 3 shredders going to a Euro consortium.
Ironically end of 2008 and the global economy began to hurt.
Anyway, I digress but it has reached the point where we not longer focus on the US for business.
Having said all that, of course there is no denying or escaping SM and its power, it is white hot here and growing rapidly.
We are currently working with VW who are spending millions to make interactivity with clients their focus.
But at the end of the day, no amount of technology is going to help you if you can't follow through and actually relate to people as human beings and understand they all have needs and they look to you to meet them.
Lose sight of that and you have lost your business.
Well, that's my few RMB worth!
While reading through some of the articles here in the community, I came across one entitled Public Relations: Small Businesses Shouldn’t Forget It and it got me to thinking about how "out of touch" some companies seem to be these days. How many times have you located a business via their web presence and when you went to contact them find their contact information is less than obvious and reaching a real person is almost impossible? Perhaps it's just me, but I see it happening more and more even with my local small businesses. It's as if they have gotten themselves so immersed in the technology of the internet and building their web presence they have forgotten that public relations once involved actually meeting with the public in a more face-to-face fashion.
The article provided Entrepreneur magazine's definition of "Public Relations" along with points one needs to touch upon when crafting a PR message about the company or products. However, what I found most interesting was in the second portion of the article where they discussed PR on a Small Business Budget. It not only advised how to manage good PR on a small budget but gave tips that encouraged personal interaction with consumers. PR is a great thing and every business needs it, but I believe that any company's best efforts should continue to involve the customer on a personal level.
I am interested in hearing your thoughts. Do you agree or disagree? How does your company handle PR?
Let us know!