How To Establish A Public Relations Campaign By Airen Amayamu
How To Establish A Public Relations Campaign
As you launch and grow your business, one of the most tricky and misunderstood
challenges involves public relations. While handling the media and releasing information
in a crisis is one aspect of PR, most growing businesses have other PR needs.
How Can PR Boost My Business?
• PR vs. Publicity
• Publicity vs. Advertising
Nine PR Tools
The Three Steps of a PR Campaign
Establish Your PR Mix
Craft Your PR Message
Public relations: any activity that promotes a positive
image, fosters goodwill, or increases sales.
As you launch and grow your business, you face all kinds of challenges. You'll need to
write a business plan, attract capital, and recruit, train, and motivate your employees. But
perhaps the most tricky and misunderstood challenge involves public relations (PR).
You know the stereotype: a fast-talking flack at a press conference who tries to "spin" the
message after news of a damaging event becomes public like accounting irregularities or
a class-action lawsuit. While handling the media and releasing information in a crisis is
one aspect of PR, most growing businesses have other PR needs. Examples:
• Media Relations and Publicity
Two closely related terms that define the goal of using the media television, radio,
newspapers, magazines, newsletters, and the Internet to sell your product or
service through news articles, interviews, and product reviews.
• Special Event Planning
Special PR events can include fairs, trade shows, conferences; parties tied to a
business theme or relevant holiday, dedications, and celebrity appearances.
• Public Interest and Image Building
Fast-growing companies may ally themselves with local charities, sponsor youth
sports, and take other steps to communicate their commitment to community and
How Can Public Relations Boost My Business?
• Increase Sales
By targeting a pool of potential buyers, you can build visibility and thus grow
your client base. Each time people read your company name and associate it with
something positive, it will reinforce their awareness of your firm and help them
differentiate your company from your competitors.
• Build Credibility
Business startups often need to build their credibility quickly to compete with
more established rivals. By positioning yourself as an expert in your field, you
can attract media attention and serve as a quoted source in published articles. As
you give interviews and get quoted, professional associations may ask you to give
speeches or participate in panel discussions, thus solidifying your credibility.
• Forge a Customer Relationship
Emerging-growth entrepreneurs will tell you that it's not enough to win a new
customer. You need to convince a newcomer to come back and buy more. By
aligning your PR campaign with your goal of attracting repeat business, you can
build consumer confidence and trust.
Example: By profiling some of your best customers on your Web
site, you send a message that you value your clients and share a
stake in their success.
• Penetrate New Markets
When you enter a new market or launch a new product or service, you need to
alert potential buyers that you're open for business. Effective PR can draw them in
and educate them about what you offer.
• Attract Investors
Good PR can introduce you to a range of investors. By presenting yourself as an
authority that operates in the public eye, you show potential backers that you're a
leading spokesperson in your industry. Better yet, an ongoing PR campaign helps
you craft an image as a long-term player in your business, rather than someone
who's testing the waters and may not stick around. Investors like to see this type
Public Relations vs. Publicity
Publicity is one aspect of public relations. While both involve the same goal of drawing
attention to your business, publicity consists of media interest and actual coverage, such
as a news story, radio interview, or product review. This in turn promotes customer
awareness. Most other PR functions aim directly at the potential customer, such as
speeches, seminars, special events, and newsletters.
"When I think of the word 'publicity,' I see a press agent who goes out and generates
attention," says Tina Brown, a prominent magazine editor. In an interview with The Wall
Street Journal, she distinguishes between publicity and "discussion," in which consumers
engage themselves in a product by reacting to it directly.
Getting the public to discuss your company thus becomes the ultimate goal of PR. When
they grow aware of what you're selling or what your firm stands for, they can relate to it
on many levels. Publicity can come and go, but with a solid PR campaign you can
connect with your audience over the long haul
Two Common PR Myths
1. "You Have To Hire A PR Professional To Really Get
Not true. If you understand your market, identify what's
noteworthy about your business and compose a compelling
message, you can get results on your own. While PR
professionals may argue that they have media contacts that
you lack, that's all the more reason you should initiate such
2. "You Have To Spend A Lot Of Money To Make A PR
Again, not true. By applying some of the guerrilla tactics
that you'll learn in the pages that follow, you can attract the
kind of positive notice you want without a major cash
outlay. Online resources make it easier than ever to wage a
PR campaign while keeping your costs down.
Publicity vs. Advertising
When you advertise, you create a tightly controlled message. You know exactly what
your advertisement will say, but with publicity you have no idea how the message will be
conveyed to the public. For example, a reporter can quote you out of context; the
resulting publicity may not necessarily advance your business goals.
More importantly, you don't pay for media-generated publicity. This can make it more
credible and influential than a paid advertisement.
Nine PR Tools
1. Press Releases. These short documents detail what's new, different, or exciting
about your business. Press releases make it easy for journalists to understand how
their audience might benefit by learning more. A tight, one-page press release that
captures the most newsworthy information about your firm can persuade key
media contacts to write a story and mention your business favorably.
2. Press Kits. A press kit or media kit often includes a press release along with
background information and your business card all packed neatly in a snazzy,
eye-catching folder. The folder might also include photographs, product
information sheets, articles from other publications, customer references or
testimonials, financial data, your biography, and a list of questions you're
prepared to answer (also known as a "cheat sheet" for radio and TV hosts).
3. Tip Sheets/newsletters. A tip sheet is a page of snappy advice or information that
helps your customers. Newsletters provide short articles and practical information
that's of interest to your target audience.
4. Bylined Articles. The advantages of writing articles about your area of expertise
and persuading editors to publish your submissions are twofold: You can advance
your agenda while arranging for your name, phone number, Web site, and a few
sentences about your business to appear at the end of the piece.
5. Awards. Applying for industry or local awards provides great visibility if you
win or earn recognition as a finalist. Many trade journals, government agencies,
and professional associations sponsor annual "best of" award programs for
6. Online Outreach. Smart, media-savvy entrepreneurs use chat rooms, their own
Web sites, and other Internet-based tools to launch awareness-building campaigns
of their companies.
7. Special Events. Examples include fund-raisers, contests and drawings, public
celebrations of your company milestones such as your firm's anniversary, book
signings, and client parties.
8. Trade Shows/conferences. To maximize your presence at a large event, you may
want to pay for a centrally-located booth that's guaranteed heavy "foot traffic." Or
you can save money and strategically prowl the aisles to spread your message,
perhaps by introducing yourself to key contacts or participating in "break out"
sessions that relate to your business.
9. Speeches. Deliver a speech on your business to community groups, local schools,
or nonprofit agencies.
The Three Steps of a PR Campaign
Follow these three stages to launch a successful public relations campaign:
Determine Your Goals. Of the nine PR tools listed above, you must decide which ones
will work best for you. Listing your top objective(s) will help you identify the right tools
Example: If you run a retail store specializing in custom window
treatments and your goal is to get more people into your store, then a
special event can help. You can issue a press release to the local media
announcing that you'll conduct a free seminar, "How to Save Energy in
Your Home." Prepare to follow up and persuade newspaper editors to run
a story about your event. To enliven your press release, include a list of
the "top 10 ways" to save energy or the "top 10 energy-wasters" at home.
When drafting your goals, make them as specific as possible. Instead of hoping for
increased sales, for instance, address specific ways you'll increase sales such as attracting
more visitors to your Web site, cultivating a new market, or dispelling myths about your
Write down your specific goals below. Next to each one, list those PR tools that you
think will help you attain that goal:
Goals PR Tools
In setting goals, make sure you know whom you want to reach. To court a younger
demographic, for instance, you may want to tap the Internet more aggressively rather
than relying on standard press releases or advertising.
Example: In the summer of 1999, a small, independent movie called "The
Blair Witch Project" became a blockbuster hit in large part because of an
Internet PR campaign. Here's how one of the film's producers explained
why they used the Web as their primary promotion tool, "When you buy
television advertising, you're getting the D student. The A and B student is
on the Internet."
Also think in terms of strategic alliances you can establish with other products, services,
or businesses. This way, you can achieve your PR goals by reinforcing your message to
the public in an understated or clever manner.
Example: During Anne Rice's book tour to promote her novel "Vampire
Armand," she combined bookstore appearances with a blood drive. Stores
were paired with hospitals, and people who had given blood got to the
head of the book-signing line to meet the author.
Establish Your Priorities. Now that you've identified your PR goals and the tools to
realize them, decide which goals matter most. Weigh these factors:
• Time. Increasing your sales through PR might involve planning special events,
writing and issuing a press release, or applying for an industry award. Even if you
hire an outside PR agency or delegate these tasks to an employee, you still need to
decide how much time you can realistically devote to these activities.
Positioning yourself as an expert in your field and getting more customers into
your store are both worthwhile goals, but if your time is limited, select the one
that'll more directly benefit your overall business goals.
• Resources and Skills. Analyzing your resources will help you prioritize. If your
store is small and lacks a conference room, conducting an in-store seminar won't
work. If you love public speaking, addressing community groups can make sense.
Harness your strengths to earn the best PR.
Plot Your Approach. PR involves selling a message, idea, or product. To appeal
to the media, research your options. Here's an exercise to help you lay the
groundwork for your PR campaign:
1. Which group do you want to reach most with your PR campaign? (circle
Investors or analysts
Vendors, suppliers, consultants, or other outsourcing services
2. Ask a sampling of at least five representatives of this group what types of
media they read or use most frequently (such as trade magazines, Web
sites, local newspapers, industry newsletters, etc.). List the most common
3. Contact each of these media sources. Ask a marketing or advertising
director at each of these sources:
Who's your demographic target audience? Ages? Income level?
What's your circulation? (if printed publication) How many "hits" do you
get a day? (For Web sites)
I'm running my own PR campaign. Do you have any advice on how I can
drum up your colleagues' interest for my business?
Armed with this information, you can both select the most appropriate places to
concentrate your PR efforts and tailor your approach to maximize its appeal. For
example, if you've isolated an industry news letter that reaches the market you're
pursuing, read at least three copies and note the editorial style. Mimic this style in your
Note: If the purpose of your PR is to win new customers, identify what
they care about most. If saving money excites them, then satisfy this urge.
An in-store seminar or newsletter with practical, cost-cutting ideas can
draw interest. If they suspect your startup business lacks stature or
credibility, then positioning yourself as an industry spokesperson by
getting quoted frequently in the press or giving speeches in the community
can alleviate their concerns.
Now that you're ready to implement your plan, you need to choose the right PR tools to
publicize your message. This may involve preparing and distributing printed materials,
making contacts online, or meeting audiences in person.
Regardless of which technique you choose, follow these rules to ensure good media
• If You Call A Journalist, Never Start By Asking: "Did You Get My Press
Release?" Some media people get dozens of press releases a day. This question
thus annoys them. Instead, start by introducing yourself and asking, "There's some
big news at my company. Is this a good time?"
• Tell The Truth. If you don't, the media will probably find out about it, and your
PR campaign will fail. Resist the urge to inflate the facts or make assertions you
• Admit Mistakes. Journalists like when entrepreneurs are willing to acknowledge
what they did wrong. That makes for more compelling, believable stories.
• Justify A Press Conference. Nothing will damage your relationship with the
media as swiftly as calling a press conference for no real reason. Unless you're
addressing a major public crisis, allying your firm with a celebrity or political
figure, or announcing significant news that affects your local community, rethink
whether to call a press conference.
• Print Contact Info On All Documents. When sending printed materials such as
press releases, bylined articles, or press kits, make sure the bottom of each page
includes a contact name, phone number, e-mail address, and your company's Web
address. Pages can get separated, so you want people to know how to reach you
even if they only have one page of your 4-page article. On your company's Web
site, have full contact information appear at the bottom of the home page.
Writing Your Way to Great PR
Press Release. Only write a press release if you have new, important, newsworthy
information to announce. Examples:
• Your firm will redevelop an old industrial property outside of town.
• Your firm has gained regulators' approval to launch a new product.
• You run a publicly-traded company and you're disclosing quarterly earnings.
• You're aggressively ramping up hiring or laying off a chunk of your workforce
and you want to explain why and put a positive "spin" on your efforts to assist
outgoing employees to get new jobs.
Like a real news article, your first paragraph must answer the who, what, when, where,
why, and how questions. Limit the press release to one page and, if necessary, attach a
second or third page that provides supporting facts, graphs, charts, financial exhibits,
biographies, or photographs.
Keep your paragraphs short no more than four sentences each. Lace the text with brief
quotes from yourself or outside experts to add variety and credibility.
While the contents vary, all good press releases use a similar design and format:
• Print the press release on your company's letterhead, unless you hire an outside
PR agency and they use their letterhead.
• On the top left margin, insert the words FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE followed
by a colon.
• On the right side of the page, insert the word CONTACT followed by a colon.
Then identify the person in your organization who's responsible for answering
questions and providing additional information to the media. That might be you,
your head of media relations, or your chief financial officer, depending on the
topic of the press release. Under this name, include this person's day and evening
phone numbers and e-mail address. Give evening phone numbers so that
journalists on tight deadlines can reach someone outside of normal business
• Skip two lines after the contact information and write a headline in capital letters
and boldface type in the center of the page. It should resemble the style of
headlines you read in the newspapers and magazines that receive your press
release. It should specifically convey your message without sounding like an
Example: Avoid "Windows' Galore Can Save You Big Bucks" or
"Stop Throwing Money Out the Window" because they sound like
come-ons. Here's a better, more news-oriented headline: "New
Window Treatment Called 'Revolutionary' by Conservationists" or
"EPA Asks Consumers To Cut Energy Consumption By 50%".
• The first paragraph of text begins with the city and state from which the press
release originates and the date. Example: Akron, Ohio, June 4, 2000.
The media's response to your press release depends on its quality. If it's well written, truly
newsworthy, and appropriate for the publication that receives it, your odds of success
soar. Start by mailing 200 to 300 press releases to targeted media. Then analyze your
If the press release appeals to general interest, you might expect 10 to 20 mentions in
publications out of a 200-300 sampling. On the other hand, if your topic is highly
specialized, then two or three inquiries or mentions from the media are on target.
If you don't get a reasonable response, rethink your message. Do editors of your target
publications deem it newsworthy? Or are you pursuing the wrong types of media? Maybe
you sent your press release to science editors when lifestyle editors should have received
If you're sure you have a winning press release, then try expanding your mail or e-mail
list. See the "Resources" section at the end of this module for more information.
Press Kits. While press kits tend to stand out in the pile more than a press release, they're
also more costly and risky. Some reporters find unsolicited press kits annoying and
wasteful, so it's best to send them on request only.
The press kit should provide helpful, relevant information that builds on your press
release. Do not send reprints of advertisements, sales brochures, or point-of-sale displays.
Journalists want straightforward information, not fluff.
Example: Rather than send a flowery description of your company's
"mission" or your "vision," provide an easy-to-understand corporate
history in timeline form. It might include the date you:
• launched your company;
• hired your 50th or 100th employee;
• moved into your current headquarters;
• opened your first retail outlet;
• introduced a product or service;
• hit $1 million in annual sales; and
• merged with or acquired another firm.
If you have product reviews from other newspapers or magazines or news articles about
you or your company, send copies of these clips with the name of the publication where
they first appeared and the issue date.
If you want producers to book you on radio/TV interviews, have your press kit include a
list of your prior appearances (date, name of host, station call letters), possible topics for
on-air discussion and sample questions you're ready to answer. You might also include a
page of testimonials from other hosts who've enjoyed your guest appearances ("callers lit
up our phone lines," "what an articulate and fascinating guest!").
Tip: If you mail 200 press releases, prepare at least 10 press kits so that
you can promptly follow up for those recipients who request additional
It's customary to use a glossy folder for your press kit. Place your press release at the
front of one of the pockets, usually the right one (this side gets noticed first). Include your
business card in one of the pockets. If you've published a book, reproduce the book cover
on the front of the folder.
Tip Sheets/Newsletters. A newsletter can help you build credibility with potential
customers, enhance your image with existing ones and serve as the basis for media
coverage if it contains catchy, compelling information. By sending tip sheets, advisory
bulletins, or newsletters to a mix of customers, prospects, vendors, investors, and
journalists, you can update them on your business's growth while providing useful facts
or trend research that they'll enjoy. Providing quarterly newsletters works best.
Follow these guidelines to compose a successful newsletter:
• Keep articles short.
• Use only a few type styles.
• Have short, attention-getting headlines.
• Create regular columns such as Q&A or trend watch.
• Encourage your readers to write, comment, and suggest future content.
Tip: When sending unsolicited material to journalists such as newsletters or press
releases, consider e-mail. Some people dislike faxes or "snail mail" PR copy
unless they're urgent or they ask you to fax or mail it.
Bylined Articles. If you're a good writer and have a strong opinion or new insights to
share, this is an excellent way to establish yourself as an expert. Start by proposing an
article to the appropriate editor at your local newspaper. Local newspapers often
welcome the opportunity to publish articles from business leaders and entrepreneurs in
the community. You may even suggest writing a regular column.
Beware: Some local newspaper editors lack the time to edit guest
submissions properly. Play it safe: Have a friend or colleague proofread
the piece before you turn it in.
Once your article appears, keep copies on hand to distribute in your press kit. Also
approach larger newspapers or a trade publication with proposals for new pieces,
enclosing your published clip(s).
Before pitching your articles to magazines or trade journals, ask for an editorial calendar.
Some publications distribute a monthly calendar that lists themes for upcoming issues or
special reports during the coming year. While these editorial calendars are designed as a
resource for advertisers, PR pros also use this information to propose article ideas for
their clients that relate to the topics of future issues.
Awards. When reading trade magazines or attending conferences, note any awards that
publishers or professional groups bestow to businesses such as yours. Contact award
sponsors, request applications, and review deadlines for submissions.
PR Over The Internet
The growth of the Internet offers many opportunities to mount a cost-effective online PR
campaign. Rather than send out dozens of press kits or fuss with hundreds of hard copies
of press releases, you can reach journalists or customers with a few clicks on your
Begin by cultivating online relationships with key reporters. Don't send your messages to
general e-mail boxes that go to an entire newsroom. It's better to call a journalist in the
morning (deadline pressure tends to increase by the afternoon), introduce yourself, and
ask for his or her e-mail address.
Ideally, you should call the reporter in response to a specific article. Give sincere praise
so that you launch the relationship on the right foot. For instance, reporters like to hear
that they tackled a complicated subject effectively or that they included all the most
relevant, groundbreaking facts.
Collect private e-mail addresses for at least a dozen key media representatives, from
reporters to editors to bookers for TV talk shows that relate to your business. Then find a
reason to send an e-mail to each person on your list at least once a quarter. Examples:
• Critique Their Work. Give brief feedback on journalists' articles and interviews.
Limit your criticism but don't hesitate to point out what you genuinely like or
admire about their work. Look for ways to add to their knowledge or provide
forecasts of industry developments or business cycles.
• Suggest Story Ideas. Send e-mails that discuss the next generation of products,
share evidence of worrisome economic signs, or propose human-interest stories
relating to your industry. The more substantive your ideas, the better. You may
even want to include names and phone numbers of experts they can call to
research your story idea. This way, you become a valuable resource.
• Give Scoops. As you get to know certain journalists, you can learn to detect what
kind of stories they covet. A technology reporter may enjoy hearing about new
Web software. A TV host who prefers to feature segments on socially-conscious
companies may like a heads-up of new entrants into this market. A magazine
editor who publishes a monthly column on "comings and goings" in your industry
will appreciate your call with breaking news of new, high-level hires at your
company. Remember to e-mail these tidbits promptly while the news is still "hot."
Reporters rarely forget who gives them scoops. They'll "owe you one," and that's
just the kind of relationship you want to develop!
• Supply News Clips. Once you know a journalist's favorite beat, download articles
from other publications that address this area. Don't assume every reporter has the
time or inclination to read what competing magazines or Internet sites are writing
about a certain topic. Again, you can strengthen your ties with journalists by
serving as their unofficial "eyes and ears" in the field.
If your company has a Web site, that opens up a whole new area for online PR. Provide
one-click access from your firm's home page so visitors can read recent press releases or
your client newsletter. If you're giving speeches or serving as a panelist at industry
conferences, list the dates and places of your appearances.
Using The Internet For PR: A Case Study
To generate "buzz" about their new pop singer, Christina Aguilera,
RCA Records launched a bold PR offensive over the Internet. RCA
knew its audience: teens who buy rock CDs. So the company's
executives planted positive word-of-mouth on the Internet in teen
chat rooms such as Alloy, Bolt, and Gurl, reports The Wall Street
Journal (October 5, 1999, p. B1).
RCA hired a marketing consulting firm to praise the singer online.
Its employees would often pose as fans, thus hiding their job as
corporate flacks. When her album hit stores, the marketers put 30-
second soundbites of her songs on one of Aguilera's official fan
Web sites so that users could download and listen for free.
PR Up Close And Personal
Some of the best PR occurs face-to-face. When you look people in the eyes, you can tell
a story that captivates them and arouses their emotions far more easily than if you rely
solely on printed materials or online contact.
Special Events. The right kind of events can deliver great results in building your
company's visibility. But there's a big downside: the investment of time and money.
Planning a party, seminar, or fundraising event can deplete your energy and prove a
logistical nightmare. Some advice for managing PR events:
• Start planning your event at least a year in advance.
• Set a budget before you begin.
• Compile a target list of attendees. If any of these people are government officials
or celebrities, contact them early to confirm their attendance.
• Decide where to hold the event. Reserve space in a conference center or other
venue if necessary.
• Prepare materials such as invitations, slides, displays, press kits, name tags.
• Consider advertising if your budget permits.
• Prepare and mail press releases, press kits, and invitations.
• Determine press attendance and distribute press passes in advance.
Trade Shows/Conferences. You don't need to host a special event to generate positive
PR. Scout your industry for seminars, conventions, and other events that expose you to
media types, potential customers, or others whom you want to reach.
Example: Your new business sells book lights, clocks, and related
accessories. You've made headway selling to bookstore owners, who like
to display your items as impulse buys near the counter. To introduce a new
line of products, you attend BookExpo America, an annual convention
where thousands of bookstore owners converge to learn about new books
and products they can sell in their stores. You hand out free samples of
your products to attendees, release a survey of the types of lighting that
book readers prefer most, and introduce yourself to journalists. This way,
you land interviews from the convention floor and generate a list of
contacts for future reference.
Speeches. Delivering a speech helps you reach new customers and gain recognition as an
industry leader and media contact. If you're an extrovert who can speak with passion
about your business, you're a great candidate for giving a speech.
A good way to establish yourself as a speaker is to contact your local chamber of
commerce, small business association, or fraternal clubs in your area. Offer to give a
speech on a topic that interests their members. If you're successful, audience members
may approach you about speaking at another engagement.
To prepare an effective speech, here's what to do in advance:
• Set the stage. Will you stay behind a lectern or wander among the audience? It's
often more dynamic to move in front of the lectern to connect more powerfully
with your listeners. Also review the room configuration, lighting, and seating
arrangement. Choose a set-up that's comfortable for you.
• Beat the clock. How long are you expected to speak? Make sure your speech fits
within the allotted time frame. Practice often and time the entire talk.
• Know your audience. What's your audience's attitude about the topic? If your
business represents a new technology, do listeners understand it? Can you use
acronyms freely or should you define everything first?
• Prepare props. Will you be using audiovisual materials? If so, make sure you'll
have the equipment you need, such as a flip chart or large screen positioned in
• Rehearse. Practice at length with friends or colleagues in the audience, and
videotape yourself giving the entire speech.
• Begin with a bang. Open your speech with a compelling anecdote, startling
statistic, or provocative question. The first 30 seconds can help you grab
everyone's attention for what follows.
• Release nervous energy. If you stand behind a lectern, don't clutch it with both
hands. Move your arms and hands so that you gesture naturally.
If you walk among the audience, don't overdo it. Plant yourself for a few minutes before
pacing a few steps and stopping. Keep a glass of water nearby at all times. Make eye
contact one person at a time; don't look over the heads of your listeners or visually sweep
the room without actually looking at individuals.
Use your PR results to maximum advantage. How? Integrate them into your other sales
and marketing efforts. This will help offset the cost of producing PR materials.
Some ideas for making the most out of your PR efforts:
• Reprint articles and news blurbs and use them as supplemental literature for direct
mail packages and as handouts at trade shows. Use positive quotes in your
advertising to enhance credibility.
• Provide your sales force with copies of feature articles that they can pass along to
customers on sales calls.
• Send copies of news articles to potential investors, vendors, and major creditors.
• Record your speeches and give audio tapes to clients, journalists, and potential
• Take names from contest entries and add them to your mailing list of potential
Establish Your PR Mix
You'll never know what PR tools will yield the best results until you test them. While
some benefits of PR are intangible such as the goodwill generated from charity events
much of your PR will measurably impact your bottom line.
Based on your measurable PR results, establish your PR program for the upcoming year.
Allot a percentage of time you'll spend on each of the following.
1. Press Releases
2. Press Kits
3. Tip Sheets/Newsletters
4. Bylined Articles
6. Online Outreach
7. Special Events
8. Trade Shows/Conventions
Craft Your PR Message
Use this exercise to sharpen the focus on your PR campaign. By identifying exactly what
you want to achieve as a result of PR, you can maintain consistency and ensure all your
spokespeople/employees stay "on message" when interacting with journalists, customers,
and the general public.
Answer these questions:
1. If your audience (such as a reporter, a potential client, or a group listening to your
speech at a conference) takes away just one point from your PR message, what
would it be? Limit your answer to one sentence.
2. What do you want your audience to conclude from this point about your
Follow this three-step process to help you refine the purpose of your PR campaign:
1. List all the themes or messages you want to plant in your audience's mind.
Brainstorm with your management team so that you get plenty of input. Ask
them, "What do we want to tell people about our company? What makes us
different/special? Why should others care?" Include benefits of your products or
services, unique aspects of your business, impressive or startling statistics about
your business, how your business applies breakthrough technology, etc.
2. Review your list. Select the three most compelling themes or messages that you
want to communicate through your PR campaign.
3. Compose a sentence that summarizes your "PR statement:" the three most
important points that will drive your PR efforts. Example: [name of your firm]
expects to grow at an annual rate of 35% by serving a largely untapped market
that buys $70 million of clothes a year.
Educate everyone on your team about your PR statement. Make sure they reinforce this
message whenever they embark on PR-related activities, from writing press releases to
designing your firm's Web site.
Revisit this PR statement every quarter. Fast-growing companies often need to change
how they position themselves to attract the kind of positive press that advances their