There are always challenges that stand in the way of getting testimonials that help in getting publicity for an organization. Testimonials are extremely effective PR tools. The reason they work is that while a business can always claim how great it is , it seems more authentic when people who have used its products and services talk positively about it. Businesses use testimonials on their site for impact. They add strength to any news release, brochure, or media kit.

What makes a testimonial compelling?

A testimonial works really well when it is accompanied by a happy customer’s name and an identifier like a city or the organization they work at. The customer’s occupation provides added credibility and helps whoever is reading the testimonial to decide on the relevance of the praise to their own purposes. For instance, if an organization sells anti-dozing devices, then a testimonial from the president of the American Truckers Association would positively impact the reputation of the organization. The tone of the testimonial can be congratulatory or fervent. Using an unenthusiastic ‘good’ can be dragging. Specific testimonials are also very helpful. Given below are tips on getting pertinent praise from customers.

Feedback forms

This may seem like a traditional strategy but it is an effective one. Clients and customers can be provided with postage-paid postcards which they can mail back with comments. At seminars or webinars, participants can also be asked to fill out evaluation forms before they leave or log out. If the aim is to get quotable material, then how the questions are worded will make an enormous difference. Rating scales like, ‘poor-good-excellent’ or ‘1-10’ should be avoided in favor of evocative questions like, ‘How would you characterize the service?’ or ‘ Why would you recommend the business?’

Facts that carry the weight of testimonials

Certain testimonials carry the power of testimonials. They may not include specific words of praise but they can be used in news releases and media kits. Media mentions and wards that have been won by a business can always be highlighted. Nothing should be taken for granted. It never goes well when a business assumes that a customer is satisfied. If a person declines to write a testimonial, there should be no negative reactions and nobody should be forced to write testimonials. User comments posted on amazon have a tremendous influence on shoppers and  they should not be taken lightly. The products or services offered by a business should be such that people would offer testimonials on their own in a spirit of helpfulness. Customers can be offered incentives to give testimonials but then it might seem that the testimonials come from a sense of self-interest. If a product meets the needs of customers and is unique in its own way, people will talk about it, even if they are not reminded to do so.

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Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5W Public Relations, one of the largest independently-owned PR firms in the United States. With over 20 years of experience crafting and executing powerful narratives, Torossian is one of America's most prolific and well-respected Public Relations professionals. Since founding 5WPR in 2003, he has led the company's growth, overseeing more than 175 professionals in the company's headquarters in midtown Manhattan. With clients spanning corporate, technology, consumer and crisis, in addition to digital marketing and public affairs capabilities, 5WPR is regularly recognized as an industry leader and has been named "PR Agency of the Year" by the American Business Awards on multiple occasions. Throughout his career, Torossian has worked with some of the world's most visible companies, brands and organizations. His strategic, resourceful approach has been recognized with numerous awards including being named the Stevie American Business Awards 2020 Entrepreneur of the Year, the American Business Awards PR Executive of the Year, twice over, an Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year semi-finalist, Metropolitan Magazine's Most Influential New Yorker, and a 2020 Top Crisis Communications Professional by Business Insider. Torossian is known as one of the country's foremost experts on crisis communications, and is called on to counsel blue chip companies, top business executives and entrepreneurs both in the United States and worldwide. Torossian has lectured on crisis PR at Harvard Business School, appears regularly on CNN & CNBC, was named to PR Week's "40 under Forty" list, is a contributing columnist for Forbes and the New York Observer, and his book, "For Immediate Release: Shape Minds, Build Brands, and Deliver Results With Game-Changing Public Relations" is an industry best-seller. A NYC native, Torossian lives in Manhattan with his children. He is a member of Young Presidents Organization (YPO), and active in numerous charities.