- What is PR, Exactly, and What Should It Do for My Company or Me?
PR stands for Public Relations. PR is a precise technology for handling individuals and groups in order to get them to think a certain way about you, your company, your product or your services.
PR should work in tandem with a marketing campaign—in fact, one of the purposes of PR is to help you get a higher ROI for your marketing dollars. Combining PR with market research and marketing always results in a better bottom line.
- How Does PR Work?
There are many different aspects of PR that can be utilized to achieve the goal of influencing people and groups to think a certain way. People most commonly think of publicity as the avenue that PR uses. However, PR techniques can be utilized through various mediums and avenues, such as:
- Increasing production using internal PR programs for employees and within departments and/or divisions of a company;
- For strengthening relations with investors, shareholders and existing customers for better support and volume repeat sales;
- Getting a potential target market warmed up to you or your product before a product launch, prepping them to expect your product or service when it arrives;
- Crisis management PR mitigation when a catastrophe happens or someone goes legal;
- Creating goodwill in your community and/or market area for positive reputation management;
- And, of course, publicity that creates that third-party credibility factor for you or your company that makes people openly receptive to your marketing materials;
- How Does One Measure the Effectiveness of a PR Campaign?
PR can be measured. It can be tracked. Before any campaign begins, there has to be an agreed-upon goal between the client and the PR expert. This is one of the most important factors, as it is the goal which ultimately determines the delineated strategy of the campaign, as well as its outcome.
What do YOU want to happen with your PR campaign? More word-of-mouth? More calls coming in? Better ROI for your marketing dollars? Better shareholder relations? Improved production? Figure it out and then figure out HOW you’re going to track it. Statistics and analytics are key to determining the effectiveness of any campaign.
- How Much Does PR Cost?
Based on what you want, what goal you are trying to achieve over what period of time will determine the cost of your PR campaign. While principles of PR and the fundamental laws of PR do not change, its application does—and what you’re trying to achieve will determine what needs to be done.
One thing you can do to remain in control of PR expenditures on your behalf is to ensure that your PR team develops a strategy for you—six months to one year. A full-year strategy is most optimum. And that strategy should have the exact methods, tactics and programs for achieving the campaign’s goal and when each step will be done. These steps should detail out the cost for you; you will then know what you’re going to get, and what it will cost. Know before you go. And demand a strategy. You deserve every miracle there is to be gotten from PR!
- What are Some of the Services That JoTo PR Provides?
- Marketing research services
- Strategic communications plan
- Professional writing and editing
- Publicity & PR
- Social media PR
- Crisis management PR
- What is Publicity?
In essence, publicity is the act of making a timely suggestion to a journalist or media contact that then leads to the inclusion of an organization, product or individual in a story. Online social media, newspapers, radio shows, magazines and cable/network programs have large amounts of space to fill, and depend on publicists to help provide story ideas, subject interviews, background information and other material.
Publicity done right will lead to two kinds of PR coverage:
- A professionally written original story created around an interesting “angle” (e.g., a feature story about a company; a story regarding a current trend presented to a journalist; an interview segment; etc.); and/or
- The inclusion of your product, company or service in an already existing story (e.g., the journalist is already working a story about your field, and JoTo PR’s contacting them results in your company/product being included in that story).
- What are Other Effective PR Activities That Can be Done?
A press release campaign is a vital PR necessity, but there are other useful activities that can be done in conjunction with it:
Support Local Groups and Causes:
- You should create good PR relationships and present a good image within the community, creating something newsworthy for the local press or to include in your social media.
Social Media PR:
- Use social media PR to your advantage. Create and update all your social media pages. Add timely information and promote your PR wins, and further promote any publicity you receive from your other PR efforts.
Become an Expert Speaker:
- Be prepared to speak at local universities and schools, business associations, professional networks, charitable organizations, etc. These speaking engagements often lead to valuable contacts, including the media.
- In addition to being a supporter, have your company become a sponsor of something special. Remember that what you support should reflect the image you wish to create. For example, if your product is associated with youth and vitality, sponsor a local/state school sports team or 5K run or something similar. If your image is artsy, sponsor a local art exhibition or dance troupe for their next production.
- How Often Should Press Releases be Sent Out?
As with any type of publicity or marketing, PR works best when your company name is seen on a regular basis. Because some press releases will work better than others, you must follow a strategy of high-quality professional writing and editing in tandem with sending out press releases on a regular basis. Likewise, press releases for the sake of press releases is not effective—a strategic communications plan must have a process for making those releases turn into media opportunities. JoTo PR will work out a schedule and a process that will yield the best results for you.
- How Can I Make My PR More Effective?
Public Relations correctly done is highly effective for most businesses. It is significant when a company, product or service cannot establish and maintain a notable differential advantage by itself, i.e., when you have many competitors. When this is the case, you can still separate yourself out from the pack by emphasizing your organization’s unique qualities or values. As an example, your company may be a great place for people to work, be more public spirited, be more philanthropic, have more client successes, or just be better at consistently telling your story and creating news around what you do.
PR should be a standard part of any organization that wants to thrive. Generating goodwill and publishing your good works will help any business.