By Katie Nussbaum Savannah Morning News, Ga.
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) In her new book called "Reputation Matrix", PR pro Marjorie Young shares tools and strategies businesses can use to increase visibility and credibility.
They say there's nothing like positive reviews and good word of mouth to get your business to the top.
In today's world as business owners struggle with the COVID-19 pandemic, hiring a public relations firm might not be in the budget, but a new book by Savannah industry veteran Marjorie Young gives owners the tools and strategies they need to increase visibility and credibility.
Released on Amazon on July 23, "Reputation Matrix" guides small business owners, entrepreneurs and others through the five strategies to increase their positive word of mouth both in the community and online "It's really interesting on the timing of all of this...the information that I'm presenting in the book (are) all free methods.That's what the small business owner needs right now. You know, they can't really hire a PR firm, which is expensive," said Young, who founded Carriage Trade Public Relations in 1995.
At 106 pages, Young said the book is to the point and can have small business owners creating a one page word of mouth strategy in a matter of hours.
"It's step by step of what I teach my team, what I teach our clients. It is what moves the needle," she said.
"According to Nielsen, 92% of small business's new business comes from word of mouth. And most small businesses don't realize there's a strategy. And this reputation matrix is how you put it together."
The strategies center around connecting with mass media and local media to announce hard news such as business anniversaries or new hires as well as learning how to position yourself as an authority on top of sharing your business' charitable engagements and awards and putting together a successful media release.
Young draws on her own experience helping to save her parents' Washington D.C.-based publishing company from bankruptcy in the mid-1980s after her mother's sudden death. Young said her parents worked as a team and with her mother gone they had to figure out how to reorganize, make money and then a recession hit.
After reaching out to her local SCORE chapter and Consumer Credit Counseling Services, the business got back on track, but it didn't have any funds to advertise, so Young set out to write her first press release announcing the company's 30th anniversary, which helped to land a story in the Washington Times.
"Then I took this article and made the sales calls. And it was like a third party endorsement," she said.
Young also encourages businesses to start in their own backyards when it comes to word of mouth.
"It starts to build your online reputation. And then if you do send the press release to Oprah -- they're going to Google you and they're going to want to see good information about you. It's the same thing when a potential client learns about you. What are they going to do? Google you," she said of working with local media.
"If the only thing coming up is your Facebook and your Instagram, that's fine, but most of that is, 'look how great I am.' If you get other people saying, 'look how great they are.' If you get on television or on the radio, or featured in the newspaper, that's somebody else telling your story, which builds a whole lot more credibility."
Young will also be hosting the first in a series of case studies on Friday on her Facebook and YouTube channel where she'll be interviewing a business owner and helping them work through the Reputation Matrix. She hopes to do about 10 case studies from various industries.
"Number one, (small businesses) don't realize there is a strategy to create more word of mouth. And number two, they leave a lot of news on the table and I'm not even sure if they understand what that means," she said. "There's a lot of good news that they're doing in their community that the local paper, the local TV, the local radio station, would be interested in hearing about." ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.