The Year of the Yang Red Monkey heralds a year of adventure and discovery, a time for new beginnings and for forging ahead. Are you an Asian company with your eyes and heart set on expanding in the U.S. market this year? On top of the 99 things to do, are your advisors also nudging you to launch a public relations program to bolster your company’s US presence?
You might be thinking: Seriously? What’s the big deal with PR? In China, our company just hosts an event and write a press release, hand out transportation money and the reporters will write positive stories about us.
Well, we’re not in Asia anymore. Practicing PR the Asian way in these United States is akin to using chopsticks to eat a meal of hamburger and fries. Despite valiant efforts, these slim sticks that had proven so useful back home simply can’t hold the burger as it falls apart, lettuce, tomatoes, meat and all.
The power of US PR is such that it has been known to help make or break companies. If done right, it can help catapult companies to new levels of public awareness, build and anchor reputations that may lead to new business and partnership opportunities. Below are eight reasons why public relations can be an influential ally for you in the US:
- Create Your US Story/Message: Guided by the right PR partner, you can better customize and create messages about your company and products that uniquely position you in the eyes of US media and target audiences.
- Avoid Media Landmines: As the US media operate by vastly different standards, you’ll benefit by avoiding landmines such as offering transportation money or calling a press conference for a no-news event. Savvy US media build their own reputations by writing insightful, objective stories about trends, companies and products, and will respect your company if you play by their rules.
- Build Media Awareness, Expand Mindshare: While some maybe skeptical, other US reporters are open to proactive media outreach, done the right way. Once they’re on your side, securing positive and consistent coverage will anchor your company as the company to watch and follow in the minds of your prospective stakeholders such as customers, partners, investors, staff and more.
- Builds Credibility. Every published and broadcasted media story is a way for relatively unknown companies to become known. It’s a way to build credibility and gain trust that can effect positive changes among those we seek to influence.
- Increase in Sales & Market Share. As more people read and hear about you, the more they’re likely to want to buy from you, thus helping you carve a bigger piece of your industry pie.
- PR Begets PR. Chain reactions can occur with earned media. Other media outlets can likely pick up stories without prompting when a good article catches their eye.
- Control Your Own Story and Brand Identity. Public relations allows you to create your best self instead of entertaining the alternative of allowing outsiders or competitors to comment on you.
- Save Money. A good PR program costs much less than an advertising program. Yet a media story that casts your company in a positive light is worth many times more than a paid advertisement in the same media outlet.
As you grow your company in this New Year of the Monkey, may it be filled with passion and resolve, and may your US adventure be filled with savvy PR moves!
About the Author
This article was written by Sharon Y. Sim. Sharon Y. Sim is the founder of Sim-Krause Consulting (SKC), a California-based PR firm servicing Asian tech companies in the US. She previously worked at global PR firms WeberShandwick and GolinHarris. see more.