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An Entrepreneur's Guide to Public Relations
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An Entrepreneur's Guide to Public Relations


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An overview of what public relations is all about, how it differs from advertising and marketing, how the industry has evolved over the years, how entrepreneurs can implement DIY PR efforts and when …

An overview of what public relations is all about, how it differs from advertising and marketing, how the industry has evolved over the years, how entrepreneurs can implement DIY PR efforts and when it's time to hire a PR professional.

Published in: Education, Business, Technology

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  • Have students share words/companies/phrases that come to mind when they think of these industries.
  • PR, advertising and marketing are interconnected, but different
  • Historically, the four P’s of marketing – product, price, place, promotion with targeted public/customers at the center of the marketing mix. Now, several variations of traditional marketing – social media marketing, content marketing, email marketing, affiliate marketing, relationship marketing, etc.
  • Typically one-way communication, messages that get pushed out to targeted and mass audiences, motivating publics through paid media to take a specific action. Various forms of advertising – broadcast (TV, radio), print, online, product placement, billboards, mobile, in-store, street corner
  • “ organization” is used to encompass the various institutions that use PR – businesses, government agencies, hospitals, nonprofits, etc. “publics” reflects the need to understand the attitudes and values of various stakeholders – employees, members, customers, local communities, shareholders, etc.
  • Or, if you place an ad or some other type of paid media
  • Promotion – one of the four P’s in the marketing mix.
  • PR pros job to generate publicity. Find a creative way to get attention for something. Get people paying attention, listening, talking, sharing. Raise awareness.
  • Media coverage is earned – not paid. Maybe goal was simply to get the mayor to be amused by the spectacle. If so, you accomplished your goal. Drive some type of response, action. It’s a positive result.
  • Social media has brought PR back to its roots – as Brian Solis and Dierdre Breckenridge wrote about in their recent book, SM has put the “public” back in public relations. More channels, more opportunities. The Conversation Prism gives you a whole view of the social media universe, categorized and also organized by how people use each network. Brian Solis and JESS3 created the conversation prism. Version 3.0.
  • Social media has added a whole new dynamic to the PR industry and how individuals/companies/agencies practice public relations and conduct PR initiatives.
  • Transcript

    • 1. An Entrepreneur’s Guide to Public Relations
    • 2. Nikki Stephan Identity Marketing & Public Relations Social Media Strategist
    • 3.
      • What’s the first thing that comes
      • to mind when you think about:
      • Marketing
      • Advertising
      • Public Relations
    • 4. PR is related to marketing & advertising, but all three are distinctly different.
    • 5.
      • Marketing is the activity, set of
      • institutions and processes for
      • creating, communicating, delivering
      • and exchanging offerings that have
      • value for customers, clients, partners
      • and society at large.
      • - American Marketing Association, approved October 2007
    • 6.
      • Advertising is a form of
      • communication intended to persuade
      • an audience (viewers, readers or
      • listeners) to purchase or take some
      • action upon products, ideas or
      • services. Messages are usually paid
      • for.
      • - Wikipedia definition
    • 7.
      • Public relations helps an organization
      • and its publics adapt mutually to each
      • other.
      • - PRSA 1982 National Assembly formally adopted definition, which remains widely accepted and used today
    • 8.
      • A classic example…
    • 9. If the circus is coming to town and you paint a sign saying, “ Circus coming to town this Saturday ”, that’s advertising .
    • 10. If you put the sign on the back of an elephant and walk it into town, that’s promotion .
    • 11. If the elephant walks through the mayor’s flowerbed, that’s publicity .
    • 12. And if you get the mayor to laugh about it or the media to report it, that’s public relations .
    • 13. Taking a closer look at PR…
    • 14.
      • PR dates back to the early 20 th century.
      • Major PR players back in the day: Edward Bernays (regarded as “father of PR”) and Ivy Lee (considered 1 st major player in the PR field).
      • Historically, defined in several ways as the industry evolved with practitioners’ changing roles & technology.
      • Before – strong emphasis on mass messaging and publicity.
      • Now – more emphasis on relationships, targeted and two-way communication.
    • 15. PR took a hard hit during the most recent recession.
    • 16. Key findings from a 2009 USC School of Communication study of 200 PR agencies to find out impacts on business during a recession:
    • 17.
      • Half of firms to suffer from 20% reduced budgets
      • 20% to expect headcount reductions
      • 21% will reduce salary
    • 18. But things are looking up for the PR industry.
    • 19.
      • Employment of public relations specialists is expected to grow 24 percent from 2008 to 2018 , much faster than the average for all occupations.
      • Bureau of Labor Statistics: Public Relations Specialists
    • 20. Social media has had a major & positive impact on the PR industry.
    • 21. Social media has also forever changed public relations.
    • 22.
      • Two-way communication is a must.
      • Mass blasting messages to media is no longer acceptable.
      • Bloggers and consumers are now direct audiences.
    • 23.
      • More opportunities for exposure (both good and bad).
      • Communication and information now move at rapid speed.
      • Customers now have direct access to companies and executives and vice versa.
    • 24. There are many existing misconceptions about PR that give the industry a bad rep.
    • 25. Public relations is NOT :
      • Spinning the truth
      • Lying
      • Paying journalists to write about your company/product
      • Only about garnering publicity
      • Unethical (when done right)
      • Immeasurable
      • Only for large corporations
    • 26. Public relations is NOT cont:
      • Guaranteed to generate coverage/awareness overnight
      • Completely controllable
      • Something anyone who is a “people person” can execute successfully
    • 27. Public relations is :
      • Building relationships with media/bloggers/consumers
      • Telling a story
      • Building credibility/expertise
      • Raising awareness
      • Changing perceptions
      • Based on trust
      • A marathon, not a race
      • Used to drive/increase sales
    • 28. “ Do it yourself” PR – building your own strategy as an entrepreneur.
    • 29.
      • 1. Know your audience and have a website! (they both tie for #1).
      • 2. Set goals and make sure your efforts tie back to those goals. Don’t just wing it!
      • 3. Start local – Pay attention to what media/bloggers are saying about your industry and competitors.
    • 30.
      • 4. Connect with those reporters/bloggers. Share your story. Always personalize and individualize your emails!
      • 5. Go where your potential customers spend time online – not where everyone says you “should be.”
      • 6. Tell your own story through a blog and social networks.
    • 31.
      • 7. Get out and meet people. Go to relevant events/meetings. But don’t aim to pitch/sell!
      • 8. Partner with relevant and established organizations. Examples: Sponsor an event/conference, host a grand opening/just launched event and give proceeds to a local charity.
    • 32.
      • 9. Give something away for free. Example: Product, consultation, e-book, etc. Show off your value and why people will want to pay for what you offer.
      • 10. Care more about your customers than you do about making money. And show that through any and all PR/communications efforts.
    • 33. PR resources:
    • 34. Five signs it’s time to hire a professional…before you lose it!
    • 35.
      • 1. You’ve tried the DIY tactics, but the needle hasn’t budged.
      • 2. You’re spending so much time on PR efforts that you’re ignoring business operations.
      • 3. You can’t figure out how to tie your PR efforts back to goals. Or worse, you have no goals.
    • 36.
      • 4. None of your internal and/or external communications are in sync. You’re humming several tunes at once.
      • 5. You’ve tried to pawn PR off on someone else - marketing, sales, admin ( gasp! )…and it’s a disaster.
    • 37. Final thought…
    • 38.
      • There will always be a need for
      • PR and professionals who
      • creatively, ethically and
      • strategically produce results that
      • drive business goals.
    • 39.  
    • 40. Connect with me :
      • Twitter - @nikkistephan, @identitypr
      • LinkedIn -
      • Blogs –,
      • Email –
    • 41. Photo & Source Credits