PR in Today’s Marketplace A presentation made by Wendy Ward of Constructive Communication, Inc.Oct. 22, 2009
PR - What is it? Public relations is the formal way in which organizations communicate with their publics. It is planned or managed communication.
Why do you need PR? Because you are tired of seeing other companies and their projects highlighted in the press, yet little to no press about you. Because it improves SEO and how people find information about your company these days. Because you are experts.
Why do you need PR?
3rd party credibility provides the credibility you need
PR is the only medium to get you a step removed from you saying you are great
Consumers and journalists are increasingly going online to find news and information about products and services.
89% of Internet users worldwide used search engines to find information
76% look up news online
“Digital World, Digital Life,” December 2008
Defining your audience
Since PR goes beyond press releases, you must
examine all whom have a stake in your organization
Biggest mistake most make – write a release, mail it to local paper and wait for it to be printed
TIP You wouldn’t expect to earn a contract that way. Rather, you would research the right contact, figure out how to get in front of them, learn what makes them tick, send them information that caters to their needs, and then follow-up.
Strategy is key
PR requires strategy like any other marketing tool
Create buyer personas of target audience to better understand where to focus efforts
Stop thinking campaigns, start thinking strategy
Solution needs to meet audience needs
Is it news? Identifying news
Is it current, informative, or urgent?
Who would it be interesting or informative to?
Have you done more of something than anyone else?
Interesting details can turn trivia into a great story
Is it news? Is it pertinent to the readership?
Does the publication audience care?
Will it catch the attention of an editor? Why?
Is it news? Can you tie it to a bigger issue or trend?
How does it relate to something bigger?
Can we establish you as a trendsetter?
Is some person, company, or organization affected who appears in the news for other reasons?
Going beyond press releases Public Relations opportunities also include:
Articles, op-ed pieces, etc.
Speech themes turned into a release
Community relations in key communities
Completion of a study or research project
Establishment of scholarship for students
News release basics Key elements of your news pitch: Is it really news? Presentation Contact persons identified Does the lead grab attention and summarize? Is inverted pyramid structure used? Is the subject appropriate for intended readers?
The importance of graphics Graphics are a must!
Don’t underestimate the importance of professional
Each news release should have two to five images.
Each feature article should have five to 10 images.
Share the cost with other members of your team.
Now…dealing with the media Service!
Accurate, timely, comprehensive information they can trust
Today’s media spends most of their time processing information, not gathering it
Must have support of management staff to make this happen
Relationship building, just like anything else. Think of the media as a customer
Winning with the media Good old-fashioned people skills! 1. Be fair. Give the news to all media at same time. Exception: A story that is perfect for one trade. Offer exclusivity, but set parameters. 2. Be reachable.
Always include contact info
Always answer your phone and e-mail every day.
Measuring success Commonly used measurement tools
Ad $ equivalent
Inquiries and cost per inquiry
Number of mentions
It’s all about dialogue “If you’re not part of the conversation, then you’re leaving it to others to answer questions and provide information, whether it’s accurate or incorrect. Or, even worse, you may be leaving it up to your competition to jump in to become the resource for the community. Yes, there will be negative comments. Yes, you’ll invite unsolicited feedback. Yes, people will question your intentions. Negativity will not go away simply because you opt out of participating. Negative commentary, at the very least, is truly an opportunity to change the perception that you did or didn’t know existed.”
Final thoughts For more information, visit www.constructivecommunication.com