“It is easier to add to a great reputation than to get it.” – Publilius Syrus (Moral Sayings, 1st century B.C.)

If you play it smart, you can create a reputation for your business with PR that is bigger than you could possibly buy with advertising or word-of-mouth goodwill. A basic program for the growing company could include a press release sent out every two to four weeks. Possible topics might be:

* the creation of a new product, product line, or division

* the opening of a new office

* the signing of a major contract

* an award that was won by your company, you, or one of your employees

* your company’s sponsorship of a local charity or team

Before you begin your PR campaign, spend some time discussing the image you want to project. It’s not enough to say, “growing company, good citizen.” Treat it as a marketing challenge. What is your company’s Unique Selling Proposition (USP)? How does that apply to your market? How does it translate to the way you select, train, and motivate employees? And how is it reflected in the work you do (or refrain from doing) in your local community?

Pick an image that is (1) true — since you can’t fool all of the people all of the time — and (2) attractive — since there is no point in promoting an image the public won’t respond to.

Once you have that figured out, establish a way to ensure that what you do is understood as an aspect of that image. This, any good public relations professional can do for you. Better yet, do it yourself.

For a year or two, you may feel like a shallow and manipulative person. Ignore those feelings. You will start to believe your own stories about six months before everyone else will.