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Step 8: Preparing your export plan

You are here:Step 8:Preparing your export plan > Preparing an export marketing strategy for your firm > Export promotion > Step 1: Deciding on a suitable mix of promotional elements > Publicity





What is public relations?

Public relations (also referred to as PR) is the activity of communicating with customers, potential customers, intermediaries, the general public and any other interested stake holders (together referred to as your firm's 'publics'), usually through means of the general or specialised press (although any media can be used), with the idea of generating goodwill and positvely influencing public opinion towards your company and its products. Put another way, it is about keeping good relations with the public (not necessarily only your customers). Examples of public relations include support of charitable events, news releases about some positive activity of the firm, such as community participation.

Public relations and publicity

Publicity is a form of PR which is unpaid and carried in the mass communication media because the information in question is considered newsworthy by the media. PR involves basically generating positive publicity for and countering bad publicity about the firm.

Publicity, the alternative to advertising

Publicity differs from advertising, therefore, in the fact that it is not paid for. Considering that the expense of advertising is on its major drawbacks for the average exporter, publicity seems a good alternative for most exporters (especially smaller ones). However, the problem with publicity lies in the fact that the medium through which you want to publicise your firm, must be interested enough in what you have to say to carry your newsworthy 'story'. In some cases - with very specialised products and magazines for example - this may be quite easy, but in other instances, publicity may be very difficult to generate.

Publicity is not always easy to generate

It is usually particularly difficult for an exporter to place press releases with overseas media because of the distance involved. The media owner probably doesn't know about your firm and will want to use their space for other more newsworthy publicity. Nevertheless, you should still endeavour to get positive media coverage, particularly in respect of any new additions to product lines or improvements to existing products, wherever you can. To this end, you need to identify and obtain copies of overseas magazines and publications in your target market that focus on your product line or industry (you would gather these publications as part of the research you undertook in step 7 of the export process). Bear in mind that many industry associations, chambers, government departments, newspapers, magazines, etc. are always on the lookout for news that may be of interest to their respective audiences. A trade magazine specialising in engineering in your target market, for example, may be willing to carry an article about your firm and its efforts to establish itself in their local market. The same may be true of the local chamber of commerce which will be happy to include an article in their newsletter. Of course, not all of these channels will be prepared to carry your article, but many may. Your task is to find the right publicity channels, prepare a short, relevant article and submit it to the editor/publisher for publishing. An occasional follow-up as new developments take place, is also worth considering.

You need to consider, though, that editors tend to use the material that is appropriate in content and style to their readership and which requires the minimum of editing or sub-editing. Editors are normally experienced journalists and can see at a glance whether material is suitable for publication or broadcasting. Purely promotional material is unlikely to be published - material submitted must have definite news value. It is essential, therefore, that you write any story from the reader's point-of-view. You may want to hire a professional journalist or PR specialist to prepare one or more articles that you can use (perhaps adapting it yourself for different magazines).


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Step 8: more information

Step 8: Preparing your export plan
      Synopsis of research already done
      Revisiting an export SWOT analysis of the firm
      Setting the export objectives of the firm
      Preparing an export marketing strategy for your firm
                  The export product
                  The export price
                  Export promotion
                        Step 1: Deciding on a suitable mix of promotional elements
                              .Sales promotion
                              .Direct marketing
                              .Internet marketing
                              .Personal selling
                        Step 2: Determining the extent of standardisation of your export
                         promotion effort
                        Step 3: Deciding on the core message(s) you will use to promote
                         your product and company
                  Export distribution
      Preparing an export budget for your firm
      Outlining an implementation schedule for your export activities
      Preparing and presenting your export plan
      Obtaining approval for your export plan

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More information on Step 8
Learning to export...
The export process in 21 easy steps
Step 1: Considering exporting
Step 2:Current business viability
Step 3:Export readiness
Step 4:Broad mission statement and initial budget
Step 5:Confirming management's commitment to exports
Step 6: Undertaking an initial SWOT analysis of the firm
Step 7:Selecting and researching potential countries abroad
Step 8: Preparing and implementing your export plan
Step 9: Obtaining financing for your exports
Step 10: Managing your export risk
Step 11: Promoting the firm and its products abroad
Step 12: Negotiating and quoting in exports
Step 13: Revising your export costings and price
Step 14: Obtaining the export order
Step 15: Producing the goods
Step 16: Handling the export logistics
Step 17: Export documentation
Step 18: Providing follow-up support
Step 19: Getting paid
Step 20: Reviewing and improving the export process
Step 21: Export Management
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