Should you use “history” in your company’s PR campaign?


Only if you want credibility and stature with your clients and in the communities you serve! History “says” class, dependability, and good corporate citizenship. Your business’s reputation is terribly important, and how you present your public face (which is really what PR/public relations is all about) can only benefit from a good dose of history.

What are some specific ways to incorporate history into your PR campaign?

• Naturally, if you are celebrating a business anniversary any time soon, you have a perfect excuse to learn your company’s history and promote it – including how your business connects to local history. In my EBook “Go Beyond the Party: 11 Simple Ways to Build Business Momentum,” I go into excruciating detail about how you can properly mark a significant business anniversary so I won’t belabor the point here. But please don’t just throw a party or settle for an article in your local newspaper. There’s a lot more you can do, and telling the story of your history will set you apart from others in your field.

• Support a popular historical organization, project, or event in your community — not just by writing a check but by being a true partner. Publicize your involvement through all of your usual media outlets, promote the project at your place of business, and arrange for photographs of your staff helping out. You will come across as a local hero and as someone who cares about local history and is willing to actually do something — not just talk. You will not only catch the attention of readers and listeners on the receiving end of your PR efforts, you will begin a relationship with the donors, leaders, and members of the project. Depending on the significance of the project you choose to support, this could get really big. Think about Ralph Lauren’s gift to restore the Star Spangled Banner.

• Connect your business to a historical holiday or event. Is your town celebrating its anniversary, the anniversary of an important event, or the birthday of a significant figure in town history? Is there a popular annual historical event you can support like Black History Month, Women’s History Month, Preservation Week, or any of the other nationally designated history-related days, weeks, and months? Find out which organization in your town is in charge of programming around these kinds of events, and ask how you can get involved. Especially if you get in early, you will be perceived as a leader and not just one in the crowd. Again, think of yourself as a partner in the project and promote the heck out of your involvement.

Three simple ideas for a modest investment that can lead to huge benefits for your business. Think like a PR person. Where are the opportunities to connect your business to history? You will love what it does for your reputation!