Creating "Top of Mind Awareness" for Your Business Using PR to help you become the go-to business

By Al Lautenslager

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

Q: What can I do tomake my business more well-known in the marketplace?

A: Ever run intothat one person everyone refers to as "the computer guy"?How many times have you heard, "I need to go see the floristlady," or "I need to call the fix-it guy"? Theselabels didn't just happen because these people decided to enterthat particular vocation, hang out their shingle and just assumetheir respective professional moniker. To assume icon status, you have tocreate what is known in marketing circles as "top of mindawareness." When the need arises for a particular service orproduct, what is the first thing, name, company or store that comesto mind? Whether it's a person or a business, they havesuccessfully achieved top of mind awareness. The goal of PR-and allmarketing-is to be parked in your customers' minds right nextto the need button; this button rests right at the top of theirmind.

The more buzz about a product or service, obviously the moreawareness exists. The more awareness exists, the higher theprobability of being in that top of mind position.

Creating a buzz and awareness is done by many things, usuallyall working together synergistically. It's been said andwritten about in particular that marketing is made up of many,many, many things. Buzz and awareness work in much the sameway.

Getting that label and moniker starts with announcing to theworld-usually announcing to your particular target market-that youare in business. This is done with a press release that's sentto the media, handed out to prospects and customers, or used as adirect-mail piece. Posting the press release on your Web site isanother effective communication.

Some companies don't have the buzz, yet they've been inbusiness awhile. How then, can they start the process of awareness?They can't announce the grandopening of their business; it's too late in the game.

In this case, a press release can still be used. The informationcommunicated is just different. Since we stated that marketing ismade up of many, many things, the buzz is not just dependent on astart-up announcement. There are many media- and news-related itemsthat can be communicated about a company or organization.Anniversaries, relocations, new products, new services, promotionsand so on are just a few examples.

In addition to buzzing through the media, being seen contributesto awareness. This is where networking plays a large part. Publicpresentations are highly effective. They not only provide exposure,but also the extra bonus of credibility that happens when youestablish yourself as an expert.

Alfred J. Lautenslager is an award-winning marketing and PRconsultant, direct-mail promotion specialist, principle ofmarketing consulting firm Marketing Now, and president and owner ofThe Ink Well, a commercial printing and mailing company in Wheaton,Illinois. Visit his Web sites at and, or e-mail him

The opinions expressed in this column arethose of the author, not of All answers areintended to be general in nature, without regard to specificgeographical areas or circumstances, and should only be relied uponafter consulting an appropriate expert, such as an attorney oraccountant.

Al Lautenslager

Author, Speaker, and Consultant

Al Lautenslager is an award-winning marketing expert, bestselling author, highly sought-after speaker, consultant, and entrepreneur. He is the principal of Market For Profits, a Midwestern-based marketing consulting firm; former president and owner of The Ink Well, a direct marketing, printing, and a Certified Guerrilla Marketing Coach.

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