Public Relations: The Basics.
Written By Rhea Allen
Written By Rhea Allen
Whether you hire an agency or go at it on your own there are a few basics you’ll want to consider with integrating Public Relations or “earned media” as a marketing tactic into your overall marketing strategy.
What is PR, or Public Relations?
First, let’s define what PR is and does for you, your business, or your organization.
Public Relations is a communication process that allows you to reach out to the public. But PR goes far beyond media relations!
It also entails understanding how the media helps you reach your desired audience. There are many ways to augment your PR efforts, whether it’s paid, earned, or owned.
But what is the difference between the three types of Public Relations?
- Paid, as in “paid” advertising, allows you to control the message, and what your intended audience is going to see or hear.
- Earned is not paid for, and you don’t really know what you’re gonna get based on what you say to the media, or are quoted on when you say something publicly.
- Owned is when you control, or “own” the channels that you will be using to reach your audience, as in website, social media, etc.
But who exactly IS your public, and how do you know how to reach them?
Questions you may want to ask:
Who is the audience that you want to reach?
You can discover who your audience is by then asking the following questions; who do you serve, who’s problems are you solving, and who would be impacted by or interested in the topic you want to announce?
How can you best reach them?
Once your audience is defined, it’s a lot easier to figure out how to reach them. Different demographics and lifestyle types go to different places for their information: newspapers? Facebook? IG? Nightly news? Radio? Etc.
1. Set a Goal, its Limitations, and Metric of Success
First things first, identify what your goals are, and what success looks like to you. Is it tickets sold? Letters to the editor? Attendance? Awareness? Without first identifying your goals, challenges, and your metrics for success, it will be a lot harder to create and distribute your message effectively!
2. Know Your Audience
You’ve identified your target audience by answering the first question we posed above; who do you serve, who’s problems are you solving, or who will be impacted by or benefit from your message or announcement? That’s your audience!
4. Find Your Creative Angle
Your PR efforts are only going to be as good as your story! So what is it about your announcement or communication that is going to make it stick out, grab attention, and garner the kind of attention it deserves? Don’t skip this crucial step; make sure that you have your best writers on the job for this.
5. Write an Exceptional Press Release
To piggyback off the point above, your story has got to be great in order for your message to stand out from the crowd and reach the audience who needs to hear it the most! A great press release not only gives you the who, what, when, and where, but a great story, and an amazing call to action.
6. Distribute Wisely
You don’t want your message to look awkward, come off tone-deaf, or just feel irrelevant. That’s what happens when it ends up in the wrong space, in front of the wrong audience. Always keep your target audience and your platforms and channels in mind when distributing your message.
7. Building those relationships with your press contacts can pay off!
Relationships matter, and when it comes to media relations, it’s true too! When you develop genuine relationships with media contacts, your chances of getting your story presented and promoted to your audience increase exponentially! So remember to give, give, give, and then ask.
After releasing your message
8. Link Building
Don’t let your press release be a one and done! Practice good link-building hygiene, and take advantage of it by linking back to it in other blogs, articles, social media posts, etc. Your SEO ranking will thank you!
9. Social Shares
Now that it’s out there, share it far and wide! Share it on your social media platforms, your website, your podcast, your newsletters, your friends and colleagues, and the list goes on. Don’t keep your message a secret.
10. Write a Company Blog Post
Don’t ever let good content go to waste! By taking your press release and adding additional info or ‘meat’ to it, you can transform a brief communication into a blog post or article that can continue to inform your audience. Creating and posting a blog post or article can also boost your SEO, and your industry credibility as well.
Have some big news you need to share with the world? We are PR experts and have an entire team of professionals ready to help you identify your audience, find your angle, and get your message out there to the world.
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