An Introduction to Public Relations

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  • Introduce myself Introduce the workshops – Awareness Raising and Media Relations – Goals: PR Strategy for Youth Ambassadors – Media Plan Ask for show of hands of Youth Ambassadors and Local Government European Officers Which countries are people from?
  • We will start with some ‘theory’ about Public Relations. Ideas from the audience please?
  • What ideas have the Youth Ambassadors come up with for their ‘future of Europe’ debate/activity? Goal: To be invited to Brussels to meet Margot Wallstrom? Aims and Objectives: To get youth involved in the Europe debate? To get 20 students to debate the topic? To provide MEPs with feedback? Target Audience: Students? Voters? Minorities? Women? Media? Community? Politicians? Euro-sceptics? Issues: Europe is a waste of time. Doesn’t help me. Spend too much money on it.
  • Brainstorm on general/tangible promotional activities. We can do a lot of things for free or very little money. Combination of clever use of graphics programmes – a photocopier – and coloured paper! Always be aware of the resources available so you can plan realistically. Internet – can you use the Regions website to publicise your activity? Notify friends and target audience by email? Publicise the activity in your email signature – and the European Officers email signature. The Media – How you tackle the media should also me covered in your PR strategy – but we will deal with that in the next session.
  • Whether it’s a leaflet or an exhibition, a debate or a tv programme – planning is important. And it is important to stay focused on what you are trying to achieve. For each individual item you should prepare a planning list.
  • When organising a publication or an event, it’s important to have planning meetings with the people you are working with. People need to know what they are responsible for and what their deadline is for completion. A gird such as this one can help keep track of who’s doing what and when.
  • There are many ways to measure success – here are a few that you may consider using.
  • When used properly PR can be a useful tool to maximise the impact of your project. Always try and plan as much as you can – and don’t panic if plans have to be changed to accommodate circumstances. Put yourself in the place of the people/audiences you are trying to communicate with – then you might think differently about the questions you need to answer and the information you need to provide.
  • Brainstorm on the different types of media.
  • Be realistic about what you are trying to achieve – the tax administration will never be popular but it can be respected and understood. Your goal is to ensure that your publics have an accurate view about the work you are doing.
  • Which publications are putting out what messages ? Who is reading them – what is the audience? Are they people who’s attitudes you want to influence? Which media are running stories on your target subject? Is there in any point in targeting media who aren’t covering those sorts of stories – will you get a clean slate to work from if you tackle a different media? Get to know the journalists – if you are contacting the media is important to get to the right person – it wastes less time, it shows you’ve done your research – consider taking them for coffee? Meeting for lunch? Relationship building is key – it helps you to build your credibility with the journalist. You may find yourself in a position where the journalist can pre-warn you of stories that are building up and give you a chance to prepare appropriate responses. Be available. BUT – also exercise caution – underneath the smiles journalists can never be your friend …. And be careful with emails that you send to them – emails allow you to be a bit more casual in your correspondence – don’t be!
  • Brainstorm on what tools/methods we can use to communicate with the media.
  • Don’t put a press release out for the sake of it. There must be a good reason. Is your release relevant? Newsworthy? Does it have a human angle? Is there a good story which will capture the journalist’s / reader’s imagination? What is your Message.?? Timing – if you have an important message to convey make sure your timing is ok – is your story going to clash with other news events and be buried? What format do the journalists like best? Email – it’s easy to send but just as easy to delete! – however would give you the opportunity to send an accompanying photograph. Perhaps consider sending a FAX – at least they have to pick it up and may be drawn in by your catchy headline! You could phone the journalist and discuss the story – this is ok if you know them. Also – think abut putting extra background information on the internet – don’t forget to put the web link on the Press Release!
  • Press Briefings: Usually informal but can give a useful background to the media on the topic – especially if it is unfamiliar and complex Press Conferences: These are formal and on the record. They need to be well managed. Your speaker needs to be well briefed. Someone need to chair it to give an introduction and to manage the questions from the press. If it gets nasty – then wrap it up! – For maximum impact consider joint press conference with regional partners/stakeholders The media like to see things in action – if there is something to visit – organise it – it makes the story real. Photo opportunities are also excellent as they make the story more interesting to read and visibly raise your profile. Interviews: Be careful of offering an ‘exclusive’ to one journalists – it may make the others jealous… but always be open for interviews. One way to control the interview is to insist on receiving the questions in advance and agreeing on what you will talk about. If they ask a question you don’t know the answer to – don’t make it up! Just say you will have to check up on what they have asked and you will get back to them by phone or email. Some publications will welcome and editorial or feature written by you – it saves them time and money if it’s well written.
  • Keep a cool head. These things happen. It is a hazard of media relations. If you get a bad headline or the story is negative or you’ve been inaccurately quoted what can you do? Brainstorm. Right to Reply: If it’s ethical then you have the right to reply – but you must judge if it’s worth it – replying may only draw more attention If it’s really really bad – then you may consider paid advertising to put your opinion forward Ban the journalist – last resort – but you can refuse to communicate with that journalist anymore especially if it is inaccurate reporting and only damaging to your organisation
  • As a civil servant / local government officer – it is not your job to launch political campaigns – it’s a fine line A good boss is important – you need them to back up your position/line To protect yourself and your colleagues you need clear media guidelines on who exactly can talk to the media , under what circumstances, on what issues. Consider establishing a pool of nominated experts on key matters who can be called upon. Consider internal briefings so that all staff are on message.
  • More than 3 messages is normally a waste. They need to be clear. Exercise: Develop 3 messages which justify the following situations.
  • An Introduction to Public Relations

    1. 1. An Introduction to Public Relations Awareness Raising – Maximising the impact of your project Media Relations – Effective Communication with the Media Sarah Hackaj Public Relations Expert for Economic Development [email_address] Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice AER Summer School, Romania, 2006
    2. 2. Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice AER Summer School, Romania, 2006 What is Public Relations? Internal Communications Corporate PR Media Relations Business to Business Public Affairs Community Relations Investor Relations Strategic Communication Issues Management Crisis Management Copywriting Publications Management Events Management, Exhibitions
    3. 3. Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice AER Summer School, Romania, 2006 Why do we need Public Relations? To enhance the reputation of an organisation To influence opinion To inform publics It is not there to accumulate press cuttings and issue masses of press releases! What is Public Relations? Public Relations is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and understanding between an organisation and its publics. Institute of Public Relations, 1987
    4. 4. What does good PR achieve? Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice AER Summer School, Romania, 2006 Establishes and maintains mutual lines of communication, understanding, acceptance a cooperation between an organisation and its publics; Involves the management of problems or issues; Helps managements to keep informed on and responsive to public opinion; Defines and emphasises the responsibility of management to serve the public interest; Helps management keep abreast of and effectively utilise change, serving as an early warning system to help anticipate trends; Uses research and ethical communication techniques as its principal tools; Harlow, quoted in Wilcox et al .2003: 7
    5. 5. Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice AER Summer School, Romania, 2006 Developing the Perfect PR Strategy What is your overall goal? What are your aims and objectives? Who are your target audience? What potential issues could you be facing?
    6. 6. Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice AER Summer School, Romania, 2006 The Action Plan General PR Activities Leaflets, posters, fliers, postcards, newsletters, exhibitions etc. Virtual Tools Websites, Email, Email Signatures The Media
    7. 7. Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice AER Summer School, Romania, 2006 Planning Your Publications/Activities <ul><ul><ul><li>Goal </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Contents </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Messages </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Audience </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Tone </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Style </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Languages </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Quantity </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Timing </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Distribution </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Venue </li></ul></ul></ul>
    8. 8. Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice AER Summer School, Romania, 2006 Organisational Checklist Activity: Leaflet 20 th Sept None Martin Distribute 17 th Sept € 500 Andrew Print 15 th Sept None Jason Proof Read 12 th Sept None Cynthia Prepare Design Underway 10 th Sept None Martin Write copy Progress Deadline Cost Responsible Item
    9. 9. Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice AER Summer School, Romania, 2006 Evaluation Was your project a success? Measures of Success: Questionnaire for participants Event Attendance Web visits and downloads Distribution Statistics Media Monitoring
    10. 10. Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice AER Summer School, Romania, 2006 Conclusion Good Luck!
    11. 11. Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice AER Summer School, Romania, 2006 Working with the Media
    12. 12. Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice AER Summer School, Romania, 2006 Who are the Media? Local Newspapers, Regional Newspapers, National Newspapers, International Newspapers, Magazines, Journals, Special Interest Publications Local Radio, National Radio Local TV, National TV, International TV Internet Print Press Broadcast Media - Radio Broadcast Media - Television New Media
    13. 13. Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice AER Summer School, Romania, 2006 Who’s trying to achieve what? Realism! What is the Journalist trying to achieve? In the best case: To seek out and present the facts – constrained by time and inches! Looking for a good story, a human angle, in the worst case – a scoop/scandal! What are you trying to achieve? News story to convey “The message” Effective and catchy Soundbites
    14. 14. Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice AER Summer School, Romania, 2006 The importance of good media relations Media has a strong role in forming public opinion and telling people what to think The purpose of your relationship with the media is to enhance the reputation of your organisation and to influence and inform the target audience The purpose is not just to issue press releases, deal with media enquiries and produce mountains of press cuttings Good media relations result in: Improving your company/LA/brand image; higher and better media profile; changing the attitudes of target audience; improving community relations; influencing govt policy at local, national, international levels; improving communications with investors and advisors; improving industrial relations
    15. 15. Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice AER Summer School, Romania, 2006 Know your Media Get to know who is reading/listening/watching what Be aware of which media are running stories on themes which are related to your target area Be aware of who the reporters are and get to know them
    16. 16. Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice AER Summer School, Romania, 2006 Methods to Communicate with the Media Press Releases Press Briefings Press Conferences Interviews Feature Articles Photo Opportunities Media Tour Opinion Editorials Exclusive Interviews
    17. 17. Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice AER Summer School, Romania, 2006 Press Releases Basic contents: Who? What? Where? When? Why? Basic Presentation: One side of paper; one clear font; date of issue; source; contact details; logo Why are you putting out a Press Release?
    18. 18. Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice AER Summer School, Romania, 2006 Other Methods of Press Communication Press Briefings Press Conferences Media Visits/Photo Opportunities Interviews Editorials/Features
    19. 19. AER Summer School, Romania, 2006 Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice What happens if it all goes wrong? Don’t Panic!! Call the Journalist or Editor in question and try and find out what happened Right to Reply Paid Advertising Ban the Journalist
    20. 20. Media Management within your organisation Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice AER Summer School, Romania, 2006 Politics Must be kept Separate from PR as much as possible It helps to have a supportive and available/approachable boss Need clear reporting structures and certain of who can talk to the media – consider issuing Media Guidelines Internal Briefings
    21. 21. Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice - Public Relations in Practice AER Summer School, Romania, 2006 Developing Your Message Justify your attendance at the AER Summer School Justify your office in Brussels Justify your spend on travel to EU countries Why do we need to work with Europe?

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