Anyone at Insight Creative, Inc. will tell you a targeted, well-placed and creative advertisement will get you results. A good ad commands attention. But a targeted, well-placed and creative public relations plan will also get you results. While it may grab attention, there’s another goal – to turn that attention into conversation and engagement.
As I’ve learned as a member of the Public Relations Society of America, public relations informs key audiences, builds important relationships and provides vital information for analysis.
Results from public relations can also have more credibility than other marketing efforts. Is a target television audience more likely to trust a news report or a commercial?
Public relations is often confused with publicity, which is just a small part of my job. I like to create a strategic plan for clients — identifying objectives, audiences, tactics, timelines, resources and budgets. Who are we trying to reach, and how will we reach them? How will my client stay top-of-mind throughout the year? How will they become seen as trusted leaders or experts in their industry?
Since a full-time public relations and social media specialist is still relatively new to Insight clients, I’d like to share a few common aspects of public relations:
- Crisis communications: A “crisis” can come in the form of a natural disaster, round of layoffs, employee misconduct or accident, negative Internet comment or anything that interrupts the everyday workflow of a business. A PR pro will assess the risks, give tips for handling a crisis, provide sample scenarios, create a crisis plan, and potentially monitor your social media channels.
- Community relations: Communicating a message to the surrounding community, or demonstrating a company’s commitment to neighbors, residents and community leaders can be an integral part of a business plan. Some clients may also need assistance communicating a message to government leaders.
- Media training: Whether it’s a breaking news event or routine “good news” story, getting a call from a reporter can be nerve-wracking. I’ve already provided some tips on preparing for a TV interview, but PR pros (particularly those with reporting experience) should be able to provide even more information to get you ready.
- Social media: It’s still debated whether social media belongs to marketing, customer service or public relations. I think it really depends on your social media strategy. But social media provides such an exciting opportunity for PR. Through blogs, pictures, videos, status updates and tweets, we can create our own content, without waiting for a reporter to pick up the story. It provides a channel for that conversation we’ve been trying to have.
- Media relations: You know this one already. Working with our friends in the press and getting your story out.
Events, media research, even sponsorship plans. Do you see that public relations is much more than press releases?
Public relations doesn’t often stand alone, but it is a growing part of the marketing mix. Working at a full-service agency is showing me how we can all work together to achieve your goals.Tags: consumers, marketing, media, media relations, public relations, social media, strategy, television