Public relations is an area you need to think seriously about and will pay immense dividends.

Senior management need to be actively involved in this area and you may find that this is the best value for money marketing you'll ever undertake. In many companies you may find that you and your management are not taking an active role and using the power of PR as a strategic weapon.

Public relations and PR strategy should be at the core of any marketing strategy. But in a small business is is oftern under utilised and has little chance of being the success that it should righly be. PR is an investment and you should use it positively to influence staff, customers, shareholders, the media, analysts, investors and anyone else that has an influence on your company and its image.

These people who will contribute to the success of your company so its important to actively engage them in its activities in a proactive and positive manner.

Issuing press releases is only one part of public relations and PR means that and not Press Releases !. Just writing press releases in the hope they will always be published is likely to have limited impact on any market.

If you want your PR strategy to work properly you will have to fully integrate your PR agency into your business so that they are an integral part of your team and fully understand your business aims and your marketing objectives.

When managed well good PR will generate you new customers and give your company the image you are striving for.

It can actually be the most powerful marketing activity you undertake. Good media coverage can help set the sales agenda. But remember, your PR team can only help you do this if they have access to your business and they're made aware of external changes as they happen.

If you aim to be in the media eye it is important to get media training first. It looks so easy on the television or in print - but journalists are old hands and will always ask the difficult questions. You will need to know your business, products, aims and stance on major themes inside out (as a test, ask all your employees to describe in one sentence the benefits of your best selling product - they will all give different results!)