A public relations case for tooting your own horn

We often find it’s hard for business owners to take credit for the success of their companies. Many people don’t embark on the journey alone, no matter what percentage of ownership they have. They admirably want to give credit where it’s due, citing coworkers, family and friends who have all played vital roles along the way. The result is an underlying guilt about taking credit for the company’s success.

Media interviews focused on your career, awards from various organizations and a constant praise from other professionals can get embarrassing. While all of this public relations attention doesn’t seem ideal, it really does help the credibility of your company in the long run.

As a business owner, the company is your baby. You helped it grow into what it is today. You have been there at its best and certainly at its worst. Therefore, you are directly linked to your company. As your company continues to grow, your name will only become more prominent. However, this isn’t a bad thing.

Here are a few positive side-effects from tooting your own horn:

Your reputation further drives the success of your company. You’ve likely spent considerable time building your personal brand throughout your career. Updating bios and resumes, seeking continuing education and staying up on the latest trends are all part of what builds the case for why you’re good at what you do. This public relations effort often results in many directly associating the company with your name.

For example, “Oh, John Doe sells tractors. I’m sure he can help you out.” Or “Jane Smith owns a great moving company. I’ll definitely pass her number along to you.” Taking your name out of the equation means the potential to lose current and potential clients. Instead, use it to your advantage.

You’re seen as an industry expert. A public relations firm can pitch stories all day long. However, the goal is to position you as a credible source who reporters see as an industry expert. This means more than getting your name out in the public. It means speaking from those years of boots-on-the-ground experience with quality information that reaches the people in your audience. You know you made the cut when the reporter moves beyond just responding to pitches and instead seeks you out to comment on a timely industry story.

It scares your competitors. Even if it is a friendly competition, nothing will make your competitors feel like they need to step up their games quite like seeing your name on a headline. Your name attached to a positive story shows your company is respectable, credible and attractive.

Attention leads to more business. There is an entire market of people out there in need of your goods or services, but they are not aware of your company. Hearing about your latest award or seeing your feature on the 5 p.m. news may be the entry point into a new market.