Biz Extra

Published: March 23, 2022 | Updated: March 24, 2022

Darren Northeast on how using the voices of others can boost business profile & reputation

By Andrew Diprose, editor

“Don’t just take our word for it!” The PR power of an unbiased voice

As a business, telling your clients directly what’s great about you is useful – but to hear it from someone else is even more powerful.

Here Darren Northeast, MD of Darren Northeast PR, explores the persuasive power of the neutral voice.

Whether it’s customer reviews or an editorial piece in a reputable publication, harnessing the voices of others really can boost your business profile and reputation.

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It’s important to recognise the small element of cynicism with which discussing how great your own business is will be received.

When your potential customers hear about your ‘exceptional customer service’ or ‘quality products’, they will likely think ‘well, they would say that wouldn’t they’!

Consider the difference when such a recommendation comes from a good friend, or even an acquaintance.

It’s instantly more credible because that source has no vested interest in being anything other than honest.

And that is the power of the unbiased neutral voice.

Use reviews to back yourself up

Word of mouth recommendations go a long way and, thanks to the internet, that source of information is no longer limited to one’s immediate social circle.

From booking a restaurant table to finding a plumber, many of us now check out the online reviews before doing anything else.

As a business you can make use of these online review platforms, the likes of Google Reviews and TripAdvisor.

Use these reviews across all your PR channels, such as social media and e-newsletters, to back up what you say about yourself.

Impartial editorial

Whilst a large part of our PR service is more digital, we still use the more traditional channels you associate with PR.

We’re always looking to win our clients coverage across reputable and relevant outlets – from publications online and in print, to broadcast media.

That is because these features and news items are perceived as a ‘neutral voice’.

While you can easily get yourself into any media outlet by placing an advert (provided you’re happy to pay for it), appearing in its editorial coverage is often far better, simply because the audience understands that material is not being paid for, and there is an onus on the publication or outlet to be unbiased.

The new media?

We often see social media influencers as the ‘new media’.

Of course, they play a very different role to journalists and news outlets, but their neutral opinion is the same.

Many influencers will offer a paid advertorial service which can destroy the ‘unbiased’ mystique.

But if you offer an influencer a partnership they really like, they’ll sing your praises to all their followers for free!

Unbiased, neutral opinion is ultimately seen as more credible, and so carries more weight.

Like most things of real value, it is something money can’t buy – although investing in some great PR support certainly helps…

But, then again, we would say that, wouldn’t we!

Some of the members of the Darren Northeast PR team (left to right) Philip Dewhurst (Non Executive Director), Jules Astrup, Theo Meddelton, Claire Hansford, Darren Northeast, MD, and Charlie Rose.

Darren Northeast PR is one of the leading public relation agencies on the south coast.

Founded 17 years ago by Darren Northeast, Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations and former Chair of CIPR Wessex, the team supports businesses of every size across multiple sectors, connecting with existing customers and reaching out to new ones.

Find out about how DNPR can help you harness the neutral voice at darrennortheast.co.uk