Every link in the supply chain can use a good PR firm

Whenever you buy a vehicle, you buy the nameplate. Ford. Toyota. Chevrolet. BMW. Ferrari (lucky you). But you also buy what’s under the hood.

Automotive assembly companies have an obvious need for public relations and advertising firms to help them reach their customers and shape their message to the general public.

B2B Public Relations Ripley PRJack up the vehicle and take a peek at the systems that make it run, however, and you’ll discover that they don’t make most of the parts they assemble. Suppliers provide hoses, pistons, exhaust systems, brakes and thousands of other parts — more than 75 percent on some models.

Aside from a few behemoths – Bosch, Denso, Goodyear and a handful of others — these suppliers, are not household names, though they account for nearly six in 10 vehicle manufacturing jobs in the United States.

They rely on B2B public relations to raise awareness about their company’s parts and culture. Their audience is not the general public but the assembly companies and, in some cases, Tier 1 suppliers to whom they sell components.

A firm that specializes in B2B public relations can deliver the messages suppliers in the automotive and other manufacturing sectors need. Suppliers rely heavily on trade publications, and an experienced agency such as Ripley PR studies the market and develops relationships with writers and editors of publications most likely to meet their business objectives. A savvy firm also will be able to leverage social media, using the right platforms for maximum effect.

A B2B public relations firm is invaluable in times of crisis, like during an automotive recall. Consumers will blame the assembly company whose nameplate is on the vehicle for a faulty exhaust system, but all automakers will know which supplier actually made the defective parts. A B2B public relations firm can develop a plan to help the supplier communicate the reasons for any problem and plans to take corrective action to the assembly company.

No matter what your company manufactures or where you are on the supply chain, you can benefit from the counsel of an experienced B2B public relations firm. Contact us at Ripley PR to find out how we can help you reach your goals.

Scott Barker

This post was written by on July 17, 2018


Is your health IT company on the Wall of Shame?

Ripley PR can help devise a crisis plan to limit the fallout

Becoming a member of a hall of fame is great. Joining the ranks on the wall of shame? Not so much.

The Department of Health and Human Services regularly updates a database with the names of companies or health care institutions that suffer security breaches. Such intrusion threatens the privacy of health care consumers who can see their very private health details released into the world. The HHS website has been dubbed the “Wall of Shame.”

The widespread digitization of health records greatly increases the likelihood of a digital security breach. Ripley PR, an agency with expertise in the healthcare IT public relations realm, can limit the damage to a brand or reputation such a breach can incur. We can help you craft a crisis response plan to address the fallout. The plan should include (at least) the following:

  • A list of contacts or a phone tree of all relevant people to bring into the loop.
  • A designated spokesman or spokeswoman who will take the lead on media inquiries.
  • Adjustable templates of prepared statements or social media posts.
  • A list of pointers for interacting with the media.

All team members tasked with responding to a crisis should be trained and prepared to assume their role at a moment’s notice. Responding quickly and truthfully to a crisis is paramount. Anything less will likely exacerbate the situation and make your company appear aloof and ill-prepared to address something as potentially damaging as a breach of medical records.

It’s important to remember there are humans attached to every bit of digital data out there. Patient and customer confidentiality is vitally important to protect. If you don’t have a crisis plan in place to deal with a health IT breach, you need to formulate one now. We may not be able to remove your company from the Wall of Shame, but we can certainly help limit the negative fallout.

Contact us today for more information on how Ripley PR can craft a crisis response plan that’s best for your company.

Thomas Fraser, Senior Content Specialist

This post was written by on July 13, 2018


Getting the Word Out About Your Automotive Technology Brand

In our fast-changing times, automotive public relations is a moving target. Vehicular and technology brands must compete harder than ever to get their messages out to a fragmented audience. An experienced automotive PR partner can help your company develop the right strategy to maximize its visibility.

In Automotive News, Amy Wilson writes about how the means for publicizing automotive vehicles and products is moving away from traditional avenues like auto shows:

“There are a lot of choices about how to communicate your information and where and when, and auto shows are no longer a default,” said Stephanie Brinley, an analyst with IHS Markit. “You don’t have to be at any particular show. The auto shows are having a hard time navigating why the change is happening, what the change really is and how to react to it.”

Alternative Events

Some brands are choosing to target technology events rather than shows focusing solely on the automotive industry in order to gain more one-on-one coverage, away from their competitors. An automotive public relations agency can help find the right event as well as maximizing the return on the investment in time and money by helping security speaking opportunities at the events.

Pre-event Publicity

To increase the visibility of your brand, you’ll need to be visible. Dropping the money to attend a trade show and investing the effort to find speaking opportunities is wasted if nobody knows about it. Judicious use of press releases and social media promotion can generate interest from potential customers and the media in the run-up to an event.

Here at Ripley PR, we understand the challenges facing the automotive sector in a changing world. We can help find the right public relations strategy to set your company apart in a crowded marketplace.  Give us a call at 865-977-1973. Our team of experts is ready to help.

Joel Davis, Content Supervisor

This post was written by on July 11, 2018


How to use the construction worker shortage to your advantage

single construction worker

In a recent report on U.S. News, the construction industry is dealing with a workforce crisis. The demand for construction work so far in 2018, which by all accounts would normally be considered a boon, is becoming a serious challenge for developers and contractors. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, through the first quarter of 2018, employers have been looking to fill an average of nearly 225,000 construction jobs each month.

While there is no silver bullet to solving this problem in the short term (according to the 2018 Q2 Commercial Construction Index report, 47 percent of those surveyed believe the situation will continue to worsen over the next six months), ultimately the industry, as well as our institutions, have to do a better job of improving public perception of what it means to be a tradesperson. This includes, among other things, removing the stigma of trade degrees over traditional four-year degrees, as well as opening up millennials to the lucrative opportunities that are now available in the field.

So what does this all mean for businesses that are targeting construction firms and developers with their software and services?

A giant pain point has opened up that you can take advantage of. Contractors are having to do more with less—which means that during all stages of the sales cycle, you should be hammering home how your company can help them manage and maintain (or even improve) their current project timelines.

The construction boom isn’t going anywhere, but neither is the worker shortage. If you’re looking to get decision makers in the construction industry to sit up and take notice of your services, you must pivot your messaging for the foreseeable future to show them how you can help alleviate the mounting pressure to pursue as much of the building boom pie without biting off more than they can chew.

Not sure where to start? Give the construction PR experts at Ripley PR a call at 865-977-1973. We’ve got the experience and stay up to date on the latest trends in the industry to ensure you’re communicating the best possible message to get the most out of your budget.

JD Sizemore, Account Supervisor

This post was written by on July 9, 2018


Three reasons why your franchise needs a public relations firm

We know. You’ve got a hefty to-do list when it comes to running a business, especially an entire franchise system. You’re aiming for constant growth as you look to attract potential franchisees. You can do this the hard way — all by yourself — or you can bring in a team of experts to help. We’re biased, but we think the latter might be your best option. Here’s why:

  1. Business growth. There’s an old adage that says “advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.” Getting the word out about your business is the best way to attract new franchisees and earn sales leads. You can pay for advertising, which will hit a select audience … and only that audience. Or, you can invest in a franchise public relations firm, which can help your message reach a Franchise screenmuch broader target.
  2. Extra value. Not only will PR help your business grow, it’ll make it more valuable. Continued interaction with media outlets builds your credibility. Seeing your franchise featured repeatedly in the media helps earn the trust of potential investors, clients and ultimately potential franchisees.
  3. Unified message. Content development, from social media to press releases, helps create a direction not only for your franchise but for all the franchisees in your operation. Your company is seen as organized and stable, which makes it much more attractive to potential investors and clients.

A public relations firm can do all of these things and more. Your franchise has the potential to grow. Some of our clients have seen their franchises grow very quickly. We can’t take the credit for that, but we helped. We’d like to help you, too, so contact Ripley PR today and find out what we can do.

Amanda Greever

This post was written by on July 5, 2018


Manufacturers: Use PR for Production of Leads, Employees, and Recognition

Manufacturers produce something tangible, usually something you can see and touch. They are skilled experts in their industry. However, they may not be expert at promoting their brand, products, people, or position as an influential employer. They may view public relations as insubstantial, or “fluff.” It’s true that PR can be art, but science is also involved (or at least distinct strategy). For most businesses, it is also essential for continued growth.

So here is my advice: Hire the best manufacturing PR firm you can get for a reasonable retainer, a team that cares about your company and will work hard to help you thrive. It won’t happen overnight, but if you work with experts like Ripley PR, you will see measurable results.

The right public relations team can help you engage with your community, encourage positive media coverage, recruit quality employees, and handle a crisis if one does arise.

Manufacturing is finally experiencing a resurgence in the U.S., one that is expected to continue through at least 2021. Now is the time to take advantage of this renaissance to solidify or enhance your brand.

Here are some things an experienced manufacturing public relations firm can offer:

  • Branding strategy- You may think you have one, but if it isn’t on paper with key messages that you actually use consistently across all platforms, your image may not be as polished or effective as you believe.
  • Crisis communication plan– It’s essential to think through potential crises before they arise and draft an intuitive plan that identifies decisionmakers and response procedures. If done correctly, these can prevent some crises from occurring in the first place.
  • Press releases– These may not seem impactful, but when written with an eye for a compelling story and journalistic standards, press releases are an effective way to spread the word about company news like product updates, initiatives, growth, new employees or industry tips.
  • Media relations– A key part of what your PR team will do is craft story ideas and reach out to the media on your behalf. They should vigorously pursue opportunities to positively promote your brand. For a manufacturer, a great deal of that would be securing articles in trade publications that will attract new clients.
  • Recruiting – A competent PR agency can help position your company as an excellent career choice and employ specific tactics for filling one to one hundred jobs.
  • Content generation – Your team can help with social media posts, blogs, and newsletters. Blogs can help with search engine optimization. Newsletters can be used to reach your clients, potential investors, or employees. Posting on social media is essential to maintain relevance, and it’s critical to have someone wise at the helm to manage your image online.

If you want to increase leads, hire great employees, or grow your company’s profile, we can help. Contact Ripley PR today at 865.977.1973.

 

This post was written by on July 5, 2018


Ripley PR can help your franchise increase brand awareness

If I say “fast food,” I’ll bet at least one or two well-known franchises pop into your head. “You should grab a pizza on your way home,” is another phrase that should remind you of at least one big-name pizza franchise. Are you thinking of those places because you’re a regular? Maybe, but more likely it’s because of brand awareness. A franchise public relations firm can help make that happen for your company, too.

Brand awareness simply means a brand is recognizable and associated with certain products. Whether your company is as big as a certain burger joint, small with one or two franchise locations or somewhere in between, marketing and public relations are useful. Getting your name and products out there will not only create growth for the franchise, but it’ll increase sales for individual franchisees.awareness-meter-guage

There are a lot of ways to increase brand awareness, but here are a couple of methods that we can help with:

  • Get social. Social media involvement can ramp up your potential and allow you to highlight not only your brand but individual components of your company, as well. A PR firm can help you showcase new products, schedule employee spotlights and maintain a rapport with customers. We can also help you deal with negative reviews.
  • Media attention. One of the best ways to get your brand in public eye is landing stories in the news media. A PR firm can help establish a franchisor and its franchisees as experts, both on a national and local level. This not only increases brand awareness, but it makes your value go up.
  • Network. Your PR firm can also help you gain opportunities that get your name out. Arranging speaking engagements, writing guest blogs/columns for industry publications and community involvement/charity work can help your name become more widely recognized.

Everyone has a go-to when it comes to their favorite burger or pizza. Or, they know exactly which store to go to if they need new jeans or power tools or any number of things. A franchise public relations firm like Ripley PR can help your company become the “go-to” store, as well, so give us a call and let us start making your business a household name today.

Amanda Greever

This post was written by on July 2, 2018


Positive PR is an investment for your construction company’s crisis-management bank

Does the thought of public relations bring to mind interacting with and being received by your community in a positive way, or does it conjure images of damage control after your brand becomes embroiled in a crisis?

Fortunately, an experienced PR agency can offer more than bandages and duct tape to your construction company. In fact, partnering with the right agency for construction public relations can help you invest in your brand and “save up” for the unfortunate, and hopefully only occasional, crisis.

Your company has many stories to tell. You have a brand you’ve invested in, a community you care about, project news and accomplishments to share with your target audiences, and future employees to hire. An experienced public relations agency can help you tell these stories by translating your news into press releases, securing interviews with relevant media, sharing your accomplishments with the press, managing your social media, and even assisting with job postings.

By positioning your company as experts in the construction industry, creating and maintaining brand awareness, and humanizing your company, a sort of equity is built for when things go awry. As much as we all try, no person or company is perfect and sometimes mistakes are made. Equipment can fail on the jobsite, accidents can happen, people can get hurt and they can also make terrible decisions. However, just as your public relations agency is there for you as soon as a crisis happens, so is that stellar reputation you’ve been working so hard to build.

Any crisis can hurt, but it’s much easier to recover when you’ve been proactively working with a construction public relations agency to build rapport with your communities and target audiences. After extinguishing the flames from a crisis, it’s crucial to begin delivering positive news again as soon as possible to remind everyone of that reputation for excellence you’ve created.

To find out more about how regularly utilizing an experienced public relations agency can lessen the impact of a crisis, contact Ripley PR today.

This post was written by on June 29, 2018


Environmentally Conscious Businesses Earn Goodwill

Companies all over the country are taking notice of the movement toward adopting environmentally conscious practices in their everyday activities. The trend is a win-win for businesses in many ways. By showing your company’s eco-friendly efforts, you’ll be supporting the environment while also appealing to consumers who are becoming more intentional in choosing the companies they patronize.

Read more from our CEO Heather Ripley at The Maryville Daily Times.

Ripley PR

This post was written by on June 28, 2018


Ripley PR Can Help Cement You as an Expert in Timely Construction Trends

Construction public relations services can accomplish many different goals, but one of the most important is to keep the company relevant in the public eye. As is the case in all industries today, advances in workplace technology combined with instant communications and delivery of news means that construction companies and contractors have to stay on top of the game at all times.

Ripley PR knows that in addition to seasoned experience, it helps tremendously to be seen as progressive and consistently “in-the-know” regarding current and upcoming trends in your respective industry. Thankfully, an experienced construction public relations agency, like Ripley PR, can take some of that work off your hands and get your expertise in front of the right audiences at the right time.

  • Have you recently implemented an innovative safety policy, procedure or system that creates a safer environment?
  • Do you have new technology on the jobsite that is making life easier for workers and resulting in a more precise and efficient workflow?
  • Are you able to provide commentary on current industry-wide trends and direction?

Partnering with the right public relations agency can help turn any “yes’s” you may have just responded with into tangible examples of your expertise and mastery in the construction industry. From writing press releases and distributing them to your key audiences to securing interviews with the media and helping you craft expert-advice columns with your byline attached, construction public relations can keep your brand fresh and respected by those who matter the most.

To find out more about how you can be better positioned as an expert in the construction industry by partnering with an experienced public relations agency, contact Ripley PR today.

This post was written by on June 27, 2018


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