A Simple Guide to PR For Retail Businesses
Getting your product on the shelves, in the right hands or being worn or used by top notables…that’s a PR win! From launching new product lines to opening stores around the globe, working with retail and consumer brands is just as exciting as it is challenging! Just imagine the competition from brick and mortar stores, shops & boutiques, now add in e-commerce…WOW. As a leading retail & consumer PR agency in Chicago, we build buzz and gain publicity through media coverage and most of that coverage revolves around product placement. But it doesn’t end at products, what about services? We work with services that run the gamut from subscription boxes, home grocery delivery, prepared meals and one-on-one education. It’s all focused on targeting the consumer.
What is Public Relations?
Public Relations (PR)…storytelling, building awareness and shaping a brand’s image through different forms of communication. Fun, right? As veteran publicists, we connect with the ultimate gatekeepers, our media friends, to target audiences across the globe and craft newsworthy story angles. We love what we do because it’s about promoting other entrepreneurs like ourselves and we take pride in helping businesses organically grow. We also love it because the power of PR is real! Part of its superpower is the fact that its earned communication, meaning “not paid” like advertising or sponsored content. It’s the most unbiased, honest depiction a brand can receive, making it the most credible type of coverage! Everybody wants it, but no one has control over it because it is through the eyes of the media. As publicists, we provide as much information as possible, connect the media with our clients and craft the message. But after we’ve delivered and the media personally experiences the service or tries the product, it’s their words. And that’s when the excitement & roller coaster ride begins!
How Can Retail Businesses Leverage PR to Succeed
Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG), Retail stores, E-commerce, Fashion labels…all have a product to sell and we help put it on the highest platform. From magazines and social media to store shelves and influencer hands, we’re a Retail & Consumer Brand PR Agency based in Chicago that places your product strategically to your target audience.
So how can a business leverage PR? First, let’s think about what the main needs of retail and consumer brands are: to sell their products and services. But how do we do that? Is it internal, meaning what the business needs to do with expanding its product choices, creating a better experience, offering more engaging events, etc? Or is it external, which is PR, marketing, social media, positioning to support what they are already doing internally? It’s both actually…we work with brands to create programming that not only resonates with the guests but that generates media interest. We also develop a strategy & plan that highlights internal initiatives and positions the spokesperson, owner or founder.
It’s not a one size fits all approach, but there is a natural pattern because we are dealing with the same type of business. Every retail or consumer brand has a line of products along with staple items, so highlighting these items a brand is known for will always be key and part of every plan. And every service based concept has a tagline of how they help the consumer and fill “need.” But here’s where plans start to differ: industries can vary from fashion labels targeting to millennials to services geared towards consumers in retirement. One of the first questions we ask is who is your target audience, because it is key to developing our plan moving forward.
To leverage the media, you need to angle your brand while remembering the media is interested in ideas that are new, timely, topical and different. What is your brand offering that no other brand is? Or is it the holidays and they’ve created something super creative for Christmas, Hanukkah, etc? Is there national news that you can weigh on and talk about as it relates to you? These are all ways to be positioned and generate exposure, which ultimately drives traffic to your website and into your store.
Some clients hire us short term PR work for an opening or specific event and others work with us long-term and want a full PR strategy that is a marathon, not a race. When a retail or consumer brand first opens and launches a new product, it’s easy. Media wants to talk about things that are new, so naturally a new concept or product interests them! You get a big push of opening press in the beginning, but the hard part is managing that press by trying to spread it out as far as you can and then maintaining that press. What are you going to do to garner media interest after the newness has worn off. That’s our job.
To be successful, brands need to remember that they will get out what they put in. Your working relationship with your PR Agency has to be a close one so they can do their job successfully. Leveraging PR to help your brand succeed is making sure your team (i.e. PR agency) has all of the most up-to-date and accurate information to share with the media and position your business. We’ve worked with clients who have had us fully invested in their business decisions and the day-to-day operations, but then others who we only talk to every two weeks when they give us updates for press purposes. We’re here to help, whichever you choose, just make sure you are giving what we need to help YOU.
Introduction to Bettie Bomb
Founded in 2005, Bettie Bomb is a Chicago-based collective communications agency, offering a suite of services from trusted industry partners under one creative umbrella. PR, Marketing, Social Media and beyond…we work as an extension of your team, creating personalized campaigns, building awareness and telling your story when it matters most.
We are a female-owned boutique Public Relations agency specializing in all things lifestyle: food, fashion, hospitality, retail, health & wellness, medical, consumer and philanthropy. Partners Rebecca Kussmann & Laura Collins work closely with businesses & organizations to target key audiences and generate exposure all under the Bettie Bomb umbrella. Work one-on-one or have us build a team. We can be BIG and we can be small…that’s the beauty of it. Small, but mighty with the ability to grow. That’s us in a nutshell.