I recognize that variable budgets, media advertising among them, will inevitably suffer some cuts when sales and profits are down. So, here’s another way for dealerships to keep their name in front of the marketplace.
For small businesses, the services of an aggressive public relations firm or freelancer can make a real splash in the market without costing a bundle. PR people are easy to find in most towns. Many are 1-man shops doing business from home where overhead is low.
PR people can perform many different services for your dealership, such as:
• Write and distribute press releases. Promotions, new products, community involvement, awards and certifications, special events and other developments within your firm are perfect for press releases written for local publication. Your PR rep should have good relationships with local newspapers, TV and radio.
• Promote feature articles about your dealership. PR reps know there’s always a story and publications always need stories. That means opportunities for feature articles and profiles that keep your dealership visible in the community.?
• Organize special events and plan community involvement. A PR firm can help you organize special customer events and community involvement that, in turn, gets you publicity and recognition.
• In addition to publicity, PR firms can do customer surveys and similar studies to determine what your customers and the public think of your dealership.
Public service projects offer a great chance to gain recognition while doing good. For example, hold an in-store blood drive; take toy boats to a local children’s hospital; sell Christmas trees and donate all proceeds to a local Boys & Girls Club; take physically challenged children for boat rides and provide a cookout; or have your PR rep ask around and you’ll find plenty of worthy possibilities.
A good PR firm that creates and delivers exciting and positive publicity will increase your market reach and your sales.