Five top tips for communications for start-up engineering companies – a PR perspective

Nov 11, 2015 by Mark Baines Category: Business 0 comments

Effectively communicating promoting your engineering business is a necessity not an option. However, our experience is that too many engineers and manufacturers are failing to harness their marketing potential.

As result they are losing ground to astute competitors and missing out on important profile raising opportunities with new and existing customers.  Here is my checklist for getting on track:

1 Nail your news value

Engineering firms are newsworthy to their regional media as well as national and international engineering media 12 months of the year. What makes news? Your new contracts, services, partnerships and investments.

In our experience firms can generate between 60 and 120 articles a year promoting news. Critically most of these news articles are retained permanently online. Having this quantity of news online ramps up your web presence and can help attract business from customers searching Google for your services.

A vigorous news campaign will gain recognition for your company in your industry – expanding understanding of who you are, what you do and the calibre of work you undertake.

2 Get smart with social media

Social media is becoming bigger and more useful every day – yes – even for engineers!

LinkedIn is perhaps the most useful social media tool for engineering firms. It is really important to get key staff on Linked In and to connect with contacts – it’s sometimes called ‘relationship marketing’. We have advised clients to upload their Twitter feed to their personal profile. This way they can keep in touch with hundreds of contacts around the globe with regular ease.

Many of our clients are also visual, therefore Facebook and Flickr are good platforms for showcasing products or services.  With Facebook you can also ensure your pictures are accompanied with descriptions.

3 Don’t be the Ostrich in a crisis

Any business can fall foul of bad news: staff indiscretions, redundancies, falling sales, accidents and so on. What is essential is that you handle bad news well. The media frequently does not know the full story and ignoring journalists calls hoping it will go away is the worst form of media management. In a crisis speak to the media. Put your side of the story ensure reporting is accurate and fair.

4 Create a strong brand

Branding is an often overlooked and misunderstood area. Nevertheless companies can benefit enormously by having a brand that communicates the personality of your business. This is more than a slick logo. It is about powerfully communicating your ethos to staff and customers.

Good brands are built on three pillars: Company mission statement, company vision, company values. Once these have been established all staff have a hymn sheet to sing from. All staff have a clear idea of what the company is about and what it stands for.

This can help a lot when staff promote the business to customers, family or friends. The mission statement, values and vision can then be displayed around your offices, factory, website and marketing materials. It becomes a visible part of the business.

5 Be clear in your marketing

The important factor for marketing materials, be they websites, advertisements, videos or brochures, is that they consistently communicate your key sales messages.

Effective marketing is not self obsessed – it is client obsessed. Effective marketing focuses on the problems and issues you can solve. Just talking about your experience and expertise is not enough. Who, what, where, when, how has it been used to help clients? What’s in it for them?

Of course, hiring a specialised and intelligent marketing communications agency like Marcom will ensure all these are taken care of – professionally and effectively. Please do contact me if you would like to discuss any of this in more detail.

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