How to shift your public relations into top gear

automotive communications public relationsThree keys to sharpening your automotive PR plan

Whether you’re a manufacturer, distributor or retailer, getting your message across in the automotive space offers unique challenges: the length of vehicle ownership is steadily increasing, dealers are losing out on repair revenue from independent shops, and the aftermarket world is changing as more parts and even services are being sold online.

As automotive public relations experts, one way we help our customers stay ahead of their competition is to assess their communications strategy. In part, this involves looking at and addressing three key points:

  1. Your strengths – The first step in sharpening your automotive public relations strategy is re-evaluating your strengths. Self-appraisal can be difficult, but often an objective look at what your strengths are, or what they should be, will help you better understand how to communicate them. It might seem obvious that your strengths as a company are what have kept you in business, but just because certain strengths got you to where you are now does not meant they will continue to carry you into the future. Accounting for market volatility and course correcting where necessary—even if it’s just a small adjustment—can make a big difference in the effectiveness of your communications.
  2. Your customers – Regardless of whether you’re in the B2B space or the B2C space, you’re still ultimately dealing with one constant: people. Buying habits change, technology changes, but the principles of doing business with people are still as sound as ever. How well do you know your customer? What are they really looking for? How you can you make their life easier? How can you make the process of dealing with your company? What will make them choose you over the competition? These are just a handful of questions you should constantly be asking, either directly through surveys or conversations with top customers and clients. Identifying a noticeable shift in an answer to even just one of these questions can completely transform how you effectively communicate with your customers.
  3. Your digital presence – Increasing and/or improving your online presence is a must to get your message across. The majority of all customer research is done online before they ever talk to a real person. And they’ve almost always narrowed their choices down to one or two businesses by the time they pick up the phone. So the question then becomes: what are you doing to provide customers and prospects a reason to engage with you? Is your website easy-to-use? Is it helpful and informative? Are you showcasing your thought leadership on third party or trade websites? How are you getting your message into your customers’ social feeds? These are just a few of the questions you should be asking—and addressing—to be sure your message is hitting its mark.

Looking to improve your automotive PR strategy? Give Ripley PR a call today at 865.977.1973.

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JD Sizemore, Account Supervisor

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