Auto Parts Manufacturers Need PR, Too

Automotive assemblyEach car that rolls off an assembly line is a feat of modern engineering, with thousands of individual parts working in sync to produce a machine that can travel fast, carry an entire family across the country or tow a trailer from point A to point B.

People have no problem recognizing the final product. There are many hobbyists who can rattle off models and what years they were in production. But that doesn’t mean the multitudes of gaskets, spark plugs, pistons, calipers and other individual parts that make automobiles run have to be the unsung heroes.

In fact, some of those pieces between the wheels have managed to break out and create their own brand (“That thing got a hemi in it?”). Even if your auto parts brand doesn’t become a catchphrase in a commercial, there are still ways to get your product’s name out there.

Automotive PR can get manufacturers’ names in front of important decision makers who may determine which rotaries will go on the next model year. That can be accomplished via a number of automotive public relations strategies. It can also accomplish several goals, such as those listed below.

  • Sales – Whether its news about the product or the company making said product, getting consistent trade media coverage can help make sure your company’s name is consistently out there and potentially in front of buyers and engineers designing the next model year.
  • Recruitment – If you’re looking for skilled workers, you can spread the word that you’re hiring using automotive public relations to get resumes from the best candidates.
  • Spreading good news – Did your facility just embark on a new environmental initiative? Did you just hire 50 new employees? Are you expanding operations or opening another facility? All of these can help boost your brand’s reputation.

Automotive public relations isn’t reserved only for car manufacturers and tire brands. Those companies that are making the crucial components that make our vehicles move have an opportunity to take advantage of good PR in order to improve SEO, attract quality employees and increase sales.

Ripley PR is a public relations agency specializing in franchise, manufacturing, construction and automotive industries. Call us at 865.977.1973 if you want your automotive company to rev up its PR efforts.

Chris Martin

This post was written by on October 23, 2018

Overcome the Talent Shortage with the Right PR Agency

According to the latest Manpower Group “Talent Shortage Survey,” 46 percent of employers across the United States report they cannot find the skills they need in available workers. As it stands, that’s 2 percent higher than the global average report. One of the industries most affected by this shortage of quality labor is construction.

Construction companies and contractors across the nation are struggling to meet their labor needs and retain quality employees, and the much-publicized opioid epidemic is only a portion of the problem. A pervasive “college or bust” indoctrination continues to steer young adults toward four-year degrees that often fail to provide placement, and it serves to further place a stigma on blue-collar jobs like construction.

One answer to this ongoing issue is to partner with an experienced construction public relations company.

The right agency can launch two campaigns for a construction business – one for brand awareness, expert positioning and lead generation, and one to position the company as an attractive choice for employment and even a career.

To launch a successful HR-focused public relations campaign, it’s important to partner with a construction public relations agency that understands the nuances of the industry, how to communicate with the right audiences and the mediums through which to reach your target employees.

Part of the challenge is dispelling the stereotypes surrounding the job, and offering an inside look into your winning culture is key. This not only includes informing prospective employees of your competitive pay and generous benefits but also highlighting the personality of your business, the exciting projects you complete and the impact you have on the communities you serve.

To find out more about how your construction business’s hiring and human resources department can benefit by partnering with an experienced public relations agency, contact Ripley PR today.

Grayson Shockley

This post was written by on October 19, 2018

How the Right PR Can Help Manufacturing Companies Grow

With the positive outlook in the manufacturing industry, manufacturing companies have the opportunity, now more than recent years, to increase brand awareness in order to recruit future employees, connect with current customers, and reach a larger audience. In other words, if your manufacturing business wants to stay competitive in this industry, having the right public relations strategy is an integral part of your success.

Just like the jobs in the manufacturing industry require the right skills and experience, manufacturing public relations is most successful when you have the right team and plan in place.

Here are a few ways Ripley PR can help build your brand:

Promote your corporate social responsibility plan. Many manufacturers have an increased awareness of their environmental impact. With the recent partnership between Department of Energy and the National Association of Manufacturers, manufacturing companies have the opportunity to both become more responsible environment stewards as well as communicate that message to their stakeholders. Our public relations specialists can work with you to help figure out the right channels in which to do that.

Build relations with the right media. From trade media to local and national media coverage, your company has a message worth communicating. Our public relations specialists will work with you to help assemble and publicize that message.

Develop targeted content. The more your message is communicated, the more likely it will be seen and understood. Whether you choose to leverage social media, develop case studies, or simply connect with the media, having the right content available is key to appropriately communicating your company’s message, increasing your website’s SEO, and encouraging people to connect with you. We can help determine your most powerful message and create the content in which to communicate that.

We offer a variety of services to build your company’s relationship with the rest of the world. We get to know your business so well, you can continue to focus on what you do best, while we help communicate that through the right channels.

Heather Ripley, Founder/CEO

This post was written by on October 18, 2018

The Strategy Behind Results: B2B Public Relations

Implementing a public relations strategy can be the just inspiration your company needs to create stronger partnerships and increase revenue. When you think about the future of your business, it’s important to consider whether or not you’re leveraging all the tools for growth that you can. B2B public relations encompasses everything from social media, events and content creation to reputation and crisis management. Companies of all sizes are seeing that positive public relations efforts can help transform their businesses because there’s strategy behind the results.

Before you bring on a B2B public relations team, you may notice that your organization lacks quality leads or sales. One of the common frustrations that small to medium sized businesses face is that there aren’t enough people purchasing their products or services. What companies may not realize, is that a company is evaluated by much more than the product or service itself. A brand’s mission and reputation are equally considered in the buying process.Business to business graphic.

A good B2B public relations strategy can enhance your company’s day to day processes in a number of ways. The key ingredient for success is to find a public relations team whose culture aligns with yours. In the B2B space, it’s important to bring on a PR agency that is well versed in your industry, has an efficient and effective communicative style and believes in your brand. Once you find the right PR agency, you will start to see an increase in your lead generation because with new content comes the platform to reach new audiences. A different perspective to your current marketing approach will always benefit your company in the long run. At Ripley PR, our B2B public relations experts are invested in your brand and passionate about growing it.

Contact me today at hripley(at) or 865-977-1973. We’d love to help your business grow!

Heather Ripley, Founder/CEO

This post was written by on October 17, 2018

How to find the right franchise prospects – and how franchise public relations can help

Finding the right franchisees is one of the secrets to a successful franchise business. Recruit prospects who understand your brand and your products and you could be setting yourself up for steady long-term growth. But a franchisee who doesn’t get it, or who doesn’t put in the effort a franchise business demands, can mean huge losses – in money, time, and reputation – that your company may never recover from.

Unfortunately, there’s no formula for finding the right match every time. But there are steps a franchisor can take to protect herself from some of the most common mistakes. Franchise public relations could be the key to getting the most out of your franchise.

Have a plan.
Don’t be surprised during the recruitment process. Prepare applicants for an in-depth program. Schedule an appropriate amount of time to get to know potential franchisees. Perform due diligence. Have a clear set of criteria regarding financial stability and previous business experience, and stick to it.

Don’t rush.
You probably don’t have the resources (or the patience) for something like McDonald’s famously intensive nine-month training program for franchisees. But any time you spend on the front end of the process isn’t wasted if it saves you from making a deal with someone who would go on to hurt your brand and business.

Be prepared to say no.
The more time and effort you spend in the recruitment process, the more tempting it can be to ignore your best instincts. But you’re not protecting your investment if you choose a franchise partner you don’t trust – in fact, overriding your judgment in a situation like that could cost you significantly more in the long run, and you could find it difficult to untangle the relationship quickly and neatly.

Have confidence in your brand.
This is where a franchise public relations firm can make an enormous difference.

The product or service you offer is the heart of your franchise. But your company also represents a brand. If that brand is too complicated or doesn’t connect with your core audience, neither will what you’re selling. A brand that consumers respond to with enthusiasm and certainty is the foundation of any business, and essential to a successful franchise.

An experienced franchise public relations agency can help you establish a strong brand identity and set your business up for long-term growth. Contact Ripley PR if you want to build a brand – and a better franchise.

Matthew Everett

This post was written by on October 15, 2018

Do you have an Employee Handbook? We can help!

If you have employees, they should have a copy of your employee handbook. This is a powerful tool that allows you to share your workplace policies and benefits and it’s a great thing for your employees to know what is expected of them. 

No matter the size of your business, if you have full- or part-time employees, you should have a handbook.

Your handbook should be an easy-to-understand outline for employees to understand what is and what is not acceptable behavior in your workplace. It can define expectations so an employee at any level has a back-up when questions arise with vendors, coworkers, direct reports, guests or clients. This is a great place for workplace policies such as disaster response, discrimination, and drug testing.

Do your employees fully understand the dress code? This is your opportunity to put in writing what is, and what is not acceptable attire.

What is the sick time or vacation policy? Do you offer professional development reimbursement?

Ripley PR has professional content writers who can write a handbook for you. Our team will guide you through the whole process, from establishing employee relations goals to examining any legal restraints HR should be concerned with to implementing an appealing format with all the digital extras you’d like.

We can even put a process in place to update the handbook as needed, so you’re not caught out when laws or workplace standards change and your employees need to stay in the loop.

For a fresh new handbook your employees will actually read and refer to, or an update on that old handbook you may be using as a doorstop for the conference room, contact our internal communications support team today.

Heather Ripley, Founder/CEO

This post was written by on October 12, 2018

Want to grow your business in 2019? You need PR.

What are your business goals for 2019? When creating your plan and budget, we encourage you to take a realistic look at what your business currently does well, and where it could improve. Decide what your growth goals are for your company and let an experienced B2B public relations agency handle the process of getting you there. For example, if you lack awareness in your marketplace, we can enhance your social media strategy or increase earned media attention.

What strategies get the best results?

One of the strongest ways to build a solid public relations strategy is through owned content creation. Whitepapers, case studies, blogs and videos are just a few great marketing ways to present your content. Whitepapers are especially useful because they showcase your product or service in a way that’s visually relatable and informative to your audience. By directing prospects to information that includes both the opinion and expertise from subject matter experts (your employees), you gain credibility for your brand.

Where do you start?

A great public relations strategy takes time and resources at first, but it’s worth the investment. Ripley PR has both the writing and B2B public relations skills to promote your company in a way that will resonate with the right audiences and help protect you if a crisis were to occur. Once you establish your objectives, Ripley PR will create a strategic marketing plan within a budget you can afford. It all falls into place from there.

When you implement PR into your marketing mix, you open up a door of possibilities. Ripley PR helps B2B clients consistently find new avenues and connections, and we can help you reach your target audience. For more information, please contact me today at hripley(at) or call 865-977-1973.

Heather Ripley, Founder/CEO

This post was written by on October 11, 2018

As healthcare IT booms, public trust wanes

Strong public relations is key to building consumer faith

The global digital health market is expected to grow at a rate of about 13.5 percent a year over the next decade. By 2025, the valuation of digital health companies will exceed $600 billion.

There is strong, sustained growth anticipated for companies that range from manufacturers of digital fitness monitors and health care artificial intelligence to online pharmaceutical suppliers.

Growing pains are common in any industry, but handling personal health information is a very delicate undertaking. There’s still flagging trust in those companies to safeguard health data and refrain from using that data for widespread marketing purposes.

The healthcare IT public relations experts at Ripley PR can help your health IT company build trust with consumers as business booms.

Trust is lowest among those who currently need the most health care. Only 19 percent of people 55 or older trust companies to keep their health information private. As digital natives age and require more health care, the trust factor will likely grow, but now is the time to tackle the issue.

Here are three ways Ripley PR can help build consumer trust of companies in the health IT space.

  1. Crisis plans. If a data breach occurs your company needs to have a plan in place to get ahead of the news. We can help develop a crisis plan that lays the foundation for addressing any such breach quickly honestly, thoughtfully and proactively.
  2. Public outreach. We can craft marketing materials and reach out to media and consumers to explain how your company protects data, how it uses that data, and how it would respond to a breach.
  3. Positioning. Our public relations and branding experts can promote your company CEO or managers as thought leaders in the industry. People tend to have more trust in those they perceive as intelligent masters of their business. We can write bylines, secure media spots and arrange relevant speaking engagements to promote your expertise – and build trust.

Healthcare IT is poised to be one of the most expansive and profitable industries in history. Contact Ripley PR for help easing the growing pains.

Joel Davis, Content Supervisor

This post was written by on October 9, 2018

Avoiding PR Horror Stories for Your Automotive Company

It’s an exciting time for the automotive industry as advances in technology seem to happen daily. The development of electrical vehicles and autonomous technology will transform the industry and society itself.

It’s also a scary time as bad actors, technical glitches, and data breaches can threaten the reputation of your automotive technology company. Do you have an automotive public relations plan to prevent incidents and accidents from turning into horror stories for your business?

Public Concerns

The public has concerns about autonomous vehicle technology. According to a 2018 Reuters/Ipsos Poll, 67 percent of U.S. adults polled said they were uncomfortable with the idea of riding in self-driving cars.

In addition to worries about safety, the prospect of hackers taking control of a car remotely remains a very real — if somewhat sensationalized — concern. Researchers believe cybersecurity is a serious concern for automotive technology manufacturers, according to USA Today:

A worst-case scenario would be hackers infiltrating a vehicle through a minor device, such as an infotainment system, then wreaking havoc by taking control of the vehicle’s door locks, brakes, engine, or even semi-autonomous driving features.

Such a scenario was shown to be possible in a 2015 remote hacking demonstration involving a Jeep Cherokee that rocked the industry and prompted Fiat Chrysler Automobiles to send UBS sticks with software patches to the owners of 1.4 million cars and trucks.

Crisis Plans

If the worst happens, it’s important to be transparent and take steps to reassure the public that your company is doing the right thing to respond. A well-thought-out crisis response strategy is needed to get that message out to customers and investors.

An experienced automotive public relations agency can help your business develop a crisis communications plan to let your company tell the truth and tell it fast so you can take control of the narrative.

What Now?

At Ripley PR, we specialize in automotive public relations. We know how important it is to develop a crisis communications plan for your company to help keep technical incidents from turning into full-blown horror stories. We can help. Contact us today.

Joel Davis, Content Supervisor

This post was written by on October 5, 2018

Planning for 2019? How PR can help grow your construction business

public-relations-planning-conceptIf your fiscal year is calendar-year, then you’re probably in the process of or are about to begin budgeting for 2019. Despite labor shortages, construction across the board has maintained solid growth in 2018. While some slowdown in particular sectors or regions is expected, most agree that the growth of 2018 will continue into 2019.

Whether you specialize in healthcare, education, industrial, multi-family or retail construction, your ability spread the word about your projects and showcase (and fill) your career opportunities is crucial to your continued success. As construction public relations experts, the team at Ripley PR can help you develop a plan to connect with key media influencers and help you improve the quality of talent that wants to work with your business.

As you consider how public relations fits into your communications strategy for 2019, consider the following questions:

  • If I Google my company name, what types of earned media stories come up on the first page of search?
  • If I Google my competition, what types of earned media stories come up on the first page of search?
  • Do I have a clear understanding of my target audiences and what their communication preferences are?
  • What communication vehicles have we been using to connect with our target audiences, and do we have any metrics or data to provide insight into what is working/what isn’t?
  • Above all else, what is my No. 1 communications goal in 2019?

Regardless of your answers, the right public relations strategy addresses each of these questions and outlines clear, measurable goals to track progress and achievement. In addition, your strategy should not be written in stone. It must be flexible and adapt to both internal and external changes.

If you’re planning for 2019, we’d love to talk with you about how public relations can help your construction business grow. Give us a call today at 865.977.1973.

JD Sizemore, Account Director, Client Services

This post was written by on October 3, 2018

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