Training. Do you offer it?

If you have the capacity to offer it, training can be a great form of PR. I say capacity as I know only too well the demands running training can make on a business! However, many of your clients will wish to keep in touch with your specialisms and/or possibly use you to bring new staff up to speed with something like knowing how to update the website you designed.

Whatever the plan and the subject matter for your training, the materials have to be prepared, peoples’ requirements checked off against your agenda, venue booked, marketing collateral sorted…..the list is endless. There is also the possible issue as to who should give the training. Not everyone is a good trainer or presenter and your organisation’s website design guru may have to be forced to hand over his/her lovingly prepared material to a more charismatic speaker!

The rewards of successful training are high. Your attendees will be grateful. Their peers will be grateful. Word of mouth will spread and you may have converts for life!

Some of the questions you will have to make a decision on are –

• Do you offer the training / course to a a single client or to whoever has an interest in the subject matter?
• If you do decide to offer to a single company, your place or theirs?
• If you offer training to multiple companies, will any of the attendees clash or conflict – “we didn’t know you worked with them and us.”
• Should you charge and if so, how much?
• Do you limit numbers?
• Do you invite local editors and media?
• Will there be a follow up plan?
• + lots more…………….

Don’t be fooled by the hours of prep and planning you’ll need to dedicate to this type of activity but it can be a very worthwhile marketing initiative.

Personally, I am not a fan of the online training videos and web casts etc and would far prefer being able to physically attend a course of value where I can interact with the presenter and the people around me. To me anyway then, the lure of an actual “live” course which was relevant and local to me would be high!

The style of the training, how it is presented and how it is marketed are subjects for another day!

Work with the media to help your marketing

The media can and do play a major part in marketing, but media Relations should go beyond submitting the standard press release to your local paper. The media exist to inform the public of news, events, business opportunities etc so it is their duty to be kept informed of what is happening out there in the business world!

If you want to get onto the media’s wave length, one option could be to provide some sort of media pack detailing (in brief) the company, its services, the key personnel, levels and sectors of expertise, a current client list and even some up to date case histories. Whatever you decide to use, you need to make sure that the information you supply acts as a carrot!

Options to consider would be to profile your company or someone within it. Has this person achieved something or been recognised in a particular category? You could also look to a diary piece if quirky as this tends to attract attention.

Whatever you decide, don’t be despondent if you’re not given coverage straight away. There are a number of factors that will influence whether or not you’ll appear such as – lack of space, lack of familiarity of your company, bad timing, relevance or even the actual content itself. But, don’t give up. Column inches achieved by you and your company will place you as an expert in your sector.

Always be alive to possibilities. These possibilities may arise as the result of an event (economic or social!), by editorial comment; by industry issues or by developments in your company. Be aware of opportunities beyond the media such as speaker platforms, seminars and/or sponsorship openings.