In today’s world, where image is global and immediate, public and community relations can either build marketing successes or initiate tough problems to resolve. Planning relationship layers long before they are needed begins with good training practices throughout your entire business profile.

Who requires training and what they should know are questions unique to individual businesses. Employees need to have a good working knowledge and background to answer customer inquiries. Partners and investors, equipped with financial updates and industry trends, complete another layer of public information. Even family members should be able to, in direct marketing situations, offer points of interest.

Frontline employees should be able to share the company’s background and product benefits in a conversational way. This builds a business’s reputation as buyer-friendly and up-to-date on industry trends. Customers appreciate knowing you are serious about your product or service and are willing to back that up with insight and positive customer care.

Customer care also extends to your public persona and how you interact in the community. Are you involved in or sponsor special events? If so, how does this relate to the increased visibility you will encounter? Will all of those representing you out in public have the information and experience to make a good impression with potential buyers?

Officers and directors represent your business to additional community and industry groups as well. Most organizations and businesses prepare manuals to assist these ambassadors with information specific to your approach and community concerns. Keeping your representatives briefed adds to your public awareness of changes and challenges.

Depend on many internal as well as external sources to alert you when image changes occur. Address the issues as soon as possible with honest and open lines of communication. Also seek out additional professional services if needed for guidance and image repair.

You have many layers of help available to use in building and sustaining your public image. Use them wisely and keep them informed for the best possible outcome.

The above information is for educational purposes and should not be used to substitute for professional business and legal counseling.