Posted by David Oates 3 years, 11 months ago

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Would San Diego’s leading print publication actually admit that traditional advertising is dead? Well, in not so many words, they did with a front-page business story using Printed Palette as a prime example of a company that can thrive without buying ads. The two owners of the Vista, Calif.-based company started the screen-printing business about a year ago with no expectation of turning a profit for several years. To their amazement, within a couple of months, revenue started to roll in. How did they do it? A pro-active social media strategy, some help from loyal customers and a well-placed blog post.

This goes back to my earlier blog on entrepreneurs and their use of PR in the startup phase. I point out that your first form of PR can be in the way of your customers, i.e. talking about you, taking photos, etc. Particularly if you business lends to nice visuals, maximizing platforms like Pinterest, Instagram and Youtube can create brand awareness and drive customers. These outlets can open doors to many opportunities and provide you with not only a loyal following, but also credibility. Once you have that foundation, bloggers and news media alike are more likely to take notice.

Unfortunately, sometimes it's hard to get customers to pay attention, “Like” you, or share content; this is where PR comes in. Public relations is NOT simply about sending press releases; if that is all you are doing, take a deeper look at the value that is bringing.

Personalized outreach to bloggers, implementing creative social media contests, and establishing the proper communication channels relevant to your target audience, are all crucial components to success in the new age of company awareness and promotion.

In Printed Palette’s case, after running campaigns with a few notable bloggers, their sales increased by more than 300 percent within a couple of weeks.

By no means is this a blanket approach for all companies. There are however real alternatives to the old-school way of driving customers, i.e., buying expensive ads or throwing up a press release on a news distribution service. If that is your approach, you might as well make origami figures out of hundred dollar bills and hang them in your window.

Visit Printed Palette to check out why their customers love them so much.

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