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Does your manufacturing business need public relations?

Updated: Apr 22

By Dave Yonkman

Do you ever wonder why some manufacturers seem to be everywhere? You always see them mentioned positively in the news, launching new products and hiring the best employees.

Meanwhile, you feel like a spectator who can’t get your flywheel of referrals and repeat customers turning?

The difference between those who are known and those who aren’t is most often Public Relations (PR).

Manufacturers at the top of their PR game give the news media a steady diet of new announcements. They contribute to industry conversations on LinkedIn and X. They update their website with information that helps customers use their products better.

Think about your favorite brand. Why does it occupy space in your mind? You probably know about its latest products, achievements and even the charities it sponsors. That’s the result of public relations. Your favorite brand ensures that you see it in the best possible light.

Visibility is only the beginning of public relations.

Have you considered entering new markets? How do you announce your arrival and make sure you're welcomed?

PR is the loudspeaker that proclaims your presence and introduces your products. Imagine being greeted with open arms in a new market because it has already heard all the great things about your company.

Think about attracting investors or forming new partnerships. A strategic PR plan can showcase your strengths and ambitions, making you an attractive proposition to potential investors or partners. Imagine the doors that could open with the right people noticing your company.

Standing out from the crowd is crucial in the manufacturing world. PR identifies your unique value, whether it’s your innovative approach or your commitment to sustainability. How does your business currently stand out, and how could it shine even brighter with a little PR help?

Consider your team, too. They’re the backbone of your company. PR not only helps to attract top talent but keeps your current team feeling motivated and proud to be part of your journey.

Reflect on the last time your employees truly felt like they were part of something special. Could sharing more of your business's story internally and externally foster a stronger sense of pride?

Let's not forget about navigating the complex world of government regulations. A smart PR strategy can help communicate your compliance efforts and even influence policies that impact your industry. Have you ever considered how your voice could play a role in broader industry conversations?

Giving back to the community also matters. Companies that support local causes or projects create strong local connections. PR helps share these stories, which strengthens your bond with the community. Which acts of kindness could your business share to build deeper community ties?

Lastly, think about the thrill of launching a new product. How do you ensure it makes a big splash?

PR is all about generating excitement and making sure your target audience trembles with anticipation. What's your next big launch? How will you create energy around it?

Shinola Detroit – the manufacturer known best for its luxury watches and leather goods – stands as a crowning example of great public relations.

Shinola tied itself to Detroit’s economic recovery by not only providing good jobs, but by supporting local initiatives and charities. It’s a powerful storytelling angle that generates local hometown pride and attracts a national audience that wants to support manufacturing’s revival.

Celebrity endorsements from the likes of Jimmy Kimmel, Ashley Olsen and Kristen Bell don’t hurt.

Shinola’s true secret lies in consistently highlighting the craftsmanship and quality of its products. It managed to differentiate its brand in a market flooded with mass-produced items.

Yet, what if after all of your hard work something goes wrong? You’ve heard the horror stories. The severed finger in the bowl of Wendy’s chili. Widespread cyanide-laced Tylenol. Fast-accelerating Audi 5000s. (All debunked, by the way.)

It's not the most pleasant thing to think about, but say there’s a defect in one of your products or a worker gets critically injured on the job. How you respond to this situation determines your reputation.

PR experts stay calm and strategize, helping you communicate in a way that can strengthen your company’s image. They can even help you prepare a plan for the unexpected.

How do you handle crises right now? Could a touch of PR expertise make a difference?

Consider the total potential impact of Public Relations on your business. From building deeper connections with your audience, standing out in a crowded market and even navigating crises, PR is about crafting and sharing your story in a way that resonates and inspires.

Isn’t it time your manufacturing business earned some attention and engagement? What story would you like to tell first?

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