What is your Public Relations IQ?

Guest Blog Post by Alex Ruggieri, CCIM, MBA – a commercial broker with Sperry Van Ness-Ramshaw Real Estate in Champaign, IL

One of the most important things that you must take responsibility for in your business is personal marketing.  It is a mistake to think that because the company or the broker does such a great job of marketing that you can rely on their efforts alone.  We are all taught that we should have a business plan but I believe that you must have a personal marketing plan.  A good personal marketing plan should also contain a public relations strategy.

Public Relations as it is applied to our business can be defined as: the practice of creating, promoting, or maintaining goodwill and a favorable image among the public towards an institution, public body, etc.

The marketplace today is a very noisy place.  If you hope to compete you must somehow get you, your team or your company above the noise.  One of the most powerful ways to accomplish this is through a personal public relations plan.

You may be thinking:  I don’t have the money to hire a PR firm.  How can I implement a public relations campaign? My answer to that question is to start small with things that you can do.  Here are a few ideas to help simulate your thinking as you craft your own personal public relations plan.

You can give a talk at a local service club.  Write an article for your local newspaper or trade publication.  Volunteer to serve for a local charity that you care about.  The thing about public relations unlike advertising is that it costs very little to implement yet can have an even more powerful impact that if you had taken an out a full page ad.

For example: one year our team volunteered to help build a home for Habitat for Humanity.  Besides having a great time serving the community we also had a very good teambuilding experience and our efforts were noted in our local newspaper with a story about our project.  We even landed on the front page of our national franchises newsletter.  You can’t buy that kind of publicity!

Whatever you decide to do, make a commitment that you will be consistent in your efforts.  You can’t hang you hat on the project you did three years ago.  Your plan must include a strategy that allows for your consistent presence in the marketplace.

In my market I have produced a radio show on Entrepreneurship and a TV show on business leadership.  Both activities provide for a consistent presence in the community and give me more exposure than I could ever get trying to purchase ads.

So the next time you are working on your business plan be sure to give some thought to a public relations strategy.  It won’t cost a lot but it will get you above the noise!

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  • Duke Long

    August 10, 2011

    Excellent post and great ideas to use within your community. May I also mention this little thing called the internet. Which I am sure you have well in hand.

  • Diana Walton Properties

    August 14, 2011

    Great article. The marketing suggestions are excellent.
    Thank you for taking the time to write this post and share your knowledge.

    Diana Walton Properties

  • Elizabeth S.

    August 15, 2011

    Great article — I have come to realize that the person who will best look out for me and my marketing efforts is….ME. We need to take ownership of this and commit to steps that increase our exposure to our clients and the community at large.


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