Doing Public Relations the Right Way
Public relations is the business of storytelling, persuasion and strategic communication. It aims at generating awareness about a brand, its services/ideas/products and thereby establishing a mutually beneficial relationship between organisations and its audience. The whole concept of ‘public’ relations is centered around an effective narrative with the sole purpose of protecting, enhancing and building reputation. For society in general, public relations and advertising are the same, as both the professions focus on publicising the brand, its unique propositions and benefits. However, one of the major differentiating factors that demonstrate the dominance of PR over advertising is third-party credibility. Having said that, we can comprehend that the profession is notably reliant on third-party, the media. Thus, it is important for a brand to strategically design their public relation programme. It is crucial to understand that a well thought PR plan is influential enough to cut down the cost of advertising; as a piece of news, automatically drives along credibility and is more likely to persuade people to action.
Here are a few guidelines that will help a business to escalate your public relations game and get the maximum out of it.
- Know your industry
The activities of public relations is facilitated through two-way communication between the brand and its public. The foundation of an effective PR programme is understanding the morals and rules on which an organisation depends; analysing and understanding the behaviours and preferences of the audiences. Constantly updating your knowledge and awareness about the industry will help to chart down an active PR plan that will in turn boost the overall marketing efforts.
- Establish your brand as unique
Thoroughly study your brand and what it does for its prospective consumers. The business is to sell your product/brand/idea to the media and convince them how it stands out in the industry and the product/services they offer are available at competitive prices as compared to their competitors. Show them the statistics, let them know the benefits and prove that your brand is comparatively superior, and worth every penny invested. Highlight the unique proposition and establish that as the brand’s identity.
- Organise your public relations activity
PR goals are achieved through planned, organised and constant set of activities arranged in a sequential manner. The initial steps include creating awareness about the client, its business and benefits. It focuses on reaching to the right audience and communicating about the existence of the brand. The second step is to educate them about the brand’s unique propositions, its ethics and values.
The process is to curate a list of your target consumers, relevant media, like-minded people and similar businesses to collaborate and grow with.
- Be consistent – Place the brand in the minds of relevant publications / Maintain relations with the journalists
The primary step is to figure out the interest of the publication and the type of readers, they carter to. However, seeding the journalist with information and introducing them to the brand will not serve the objective of public relations. It’s about building good relations and reputation with the journalist. Understand that they also have restrictions and are time-bound. But constantly reminding them of your brand with new information will help create a top of the mind recall for the client and they might get in touch with you for a potential story. Being curious is fine, but don’t overdo it.
- Enhance your online presence
Social media does not directly fall under the umbrella of public relations but is now emerging as one of the critical channels to reach the target audience. In the era of the digitally connected world, a brand demands online presence to reach to the consumers and introduce a personal touch by addressing their queries. This will reconstruct their trust in the brand and thus loyalty towards the organisation. By not concentrating on building an online presence, a brand might lose on a lot, potential sales, loyal customers, potential consumers.
Religiously following these simple tips might not guarantee coverage, but you will eventually move a step closer to a successful PR initiative. Gradually, you will start building good media relations and create a recall value for your brand. This will also give your product an added advantage in the media sphere, as the journalist might connect with you for a prospective story.
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