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From Factory Floor to the Front Page: Building a Public Relations Strategy for Manufacturers | Power Up Your Manufacturing Brand, Part 1

Published: April 22, 2024       Updated: May 13, 2024

5 min read

Manufacturing businesses are often so deeply entrenched in the production and delivery of tangible products that they end up prioritizing operational aspects over their public image. However, although these types of organizations may initially overlook the importance of public relations (PR), I assure you they can benefit as much as any other industry from a robust strategy. 

For manufacturing businesses, a good reputation can lead to increased trust from buyers, suppliers, investors, and the community as a whole. This can translate into enhanced customer advocacy and numerous other perks. I've seen it firsthand — a positive image can open even the most unexpected doors. 

Manufacturing PR can and will improve a firm’s employer brand, too. In other words, it helps businesses attract skilled workers eager to associate themselves with a respected and well-positioned brand.  

What Is Manufacturing PR?

manufacturing companyAt its core, manufacturing public relations is the art of building trust at scale. It focuses on strategic communication efforts to enhance a manufacturing firm's reputation and visibility. This specialized branch of PR focuses on addressing the unique challenges and opportunities faced by manufacturers across the globe.

For me, good PR for manufacturing companies is educational. It teaches the market three critical things:

  1. What a company does
  2. Why they do it
  3. How it matters

When done well, PR also boosts brand awareness and visibility. It generates momentum, giving people something to talk about in the best way possible. This helps build credibility and attract customers who share similar values.

Main Elements of a Manufacturing PR Strategy

While they operate within the same sector, no two manufacturing companies are created equal. They all have unique strengths, weaknesses, and characteristics. 

Public relations strategies must be as unique as the firm they're serving. Still, most share pretty much the same fundamental criteria, including:

Crafting a Compelling Narrative

If there’s one lesson I’ve learned from PR that I would like to share with manufacturing companies, it's that we should never underestimate the power of a solid brand story — especially in the digital realm, where it can reach a wider audience. A compelling narrative will strongly resonate with customers and help form the foundation of your company's identity.

When building a strong narrative, figuring out how to connect with the emotional journey that made your brand what it is right now is vital. Doing so can differentiate your manufacturing company from its competitors and leave a lasting impression. 

But understanding your own narrative so that you can effectively communicate it to your audience means taking a deep dive into the origins of your company. You must explore the motivations behind its founding, the principles driving it forward, and other elements that contribute to its distinctive essence. 

Here are some pointers to help you get started:

  • Pinpoint what makes you stand out: Identifying my unique selling points (USPs) has allowed me to stand out from the crowd. It has let me emphasize elements that set me apart, such as the superior quality of my products, the innovative technology I use to design, assemble, and distribute them, and my exceptional customer service. In other words, it has empowered me to highlight the main attributes that make my offerings irresistible to a specific audience.
  • Align your brand’s narrative with its core values: I always try to put my actions where my words are. There’s no use in crafting a narrative that revolves around certain beliefs if what I do tells an entirely different story. This incongruence would only hinder my efforts to build a sense of authenticity and trustworthiness.
  • Highlight any innovations and milestones that matter: I think manufacturers should demonstrate their commitment to progress and excellence. And what better way to do that than to display their creations and accomplishments? Showcasing positive breakthrough moments and victories is a great way to reach industry leader status. However, I firmly believe there’s also a bit of magic in taking accountability for shortcomings and challenges to maintain transparency and show a clear willingness to learn and improve.

Building Relationships in Online Influence Spheres

manufacturing handshakeMedia relationships, especially online, go hand in hand with manufacturing PR. Sure, off the top of my head, I can think of many ways to communicate my brand message to my audience through traditional media outlets. Yet, I don’t think anything can fully replace the credibility and reach that online media coverage offers through press releases, features, interviews, and social media interactions.

Building strong connections with digital journalists, bloggers, influencers, and thought leaders has undoubtedly enhanced my visibility and helped me secure favorable coverage for my company. I recommend nurturing these relationships to gain access to valuable opportunities for brand promotion. 

This often requires:

  • Consistent communication
  • Mutual respect
  • Timely and relevant information 

Personalized pitches have done wonders for me when it comes to securing consistent attention and coverage. I make sure to address the specific interests and needs of potential partners to increase the chances of getting my stories picked up.

Leveraging Industry Events Online

Quoting a song from a beloved children’s movie: "I want to be where the people are; ask them my questions and get some answers." Mermaids would excel at networking, don't you think? 

Jokes aside, maximizing brand exposure requires engaging with anyone who can contribute to fostering new connections and expanding reach. To achieve this, you participate in digital conferences, webinars, online trade shows, and similar gatherings held in the virtual space. I'm talking about diving headfirst into the online communities and platforms where meaningful interactions occur.

I like attending these virtual events because they allow for knowledge-sharing and collaboration. They give me easy access to experts from various fields who can offer valuable insights or agree to participate jointly in innovative projects and ideas. But if that's not your thing, you can join as a guest in podcasts and live streams — or host your own to cultivate a like-minded community that shares valuable expertise. 

Get PR Ready!

Although often overlooked, PR is essential in the marketing-for-manufacturing-companies toolkit. I can’t stress enough the impact it can have on building brand credibility and driving business growth. 

At Idea Grove, we can help your manufacturing firm achieve public relations elite status. Our team of experts has over two decades of experience boosting brand visibility through the latest technologies. Reach out today and see it for yourself!

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