Well Public Relations (PR) is something that is taken for granted by many hosts, especially the larger hosts in this day and age. There used to be a day where PR was everything (there was also a day where there was no overselling, but lets not go there).

What is Public Relations?

The business of generating goodwill toward an individual, cause, company, or product
That does pretty much give a dictionair summary of it. Effectivly PR work is all about making yourselves look good in the eye's of your clients and perspective clients. Most of PR is aimed at the latter, however I believe that to do this you need to concentrate on your clients.


Well, there are many ways of doing this. I guess the most common of these is coupons for special times of the years. Or certain Sales or "special's". The only problem with these are that the clients know that its not that "special" and its not all that "one-time", the reason for this is because so many companies have offers running all year round. However this is still the first way of doing some PR.

The second way which is my prefered way are contests. Some hosting companies make the mistake of giving free hosting as the contest, well really this helps but does not do as much as something else. For example at my company we are giving away an X Box 360 to one of our clients. This not only keeps current clients happy but also brings some clients in.

The two most obvious ways have now been covered, well glossed over. The next few ways are slightly more subtle, and concentrate more on making your current clients happy and hoping they will pass on the good word. If there is a good buzz about your company, it will of course help. So how to do this. First thing I would suggest is to always look for new things, and keep asking your clients for suggestions on how you can improve the service. For example if they want PHP5 and PHP4, just install PHP5 as a CGI so you can have both running. The important part of this, is to make sure that you are actually adding this on a regular basis, and not just saying you will. Customers dont like empty promises.

The next one is keep your customers happy, but to be honest you should be doing that already , otherwise you should not really be reading this. I think its time to move onto the last one. This is mainly for managment and staff of the company. I would like to encourage you guys to talk to your clients, and this isnt in a business way, talk to them like they were your friends, add that personal touch. I am a great fan of the personal touch and it does work wonders. People do not like the strict business "machine", they prefer a person. If you become friends with your clients they are more likely to give you references and less likely to leave. They are also much more open about any problems your company has, but will keep it discrete (ie will email it to you) instead of posting it on public forums.

I did not take a PR course or anything like that, most of the things that have been said are common sense and to be honest are easy to do, however it is suprising how many companies just totally ignore PR. For a hosting company PR can be harder than for other type of companies so if you do anything I would suggest you ensure that your current clients are as happy as they can be, this will work wonders in itself (although it is a slower method of PR).

I hope this article is helpful.