What is PR and why does your organisation need it?
Public Relations or PR is defined as deliberately controlling the spread of information about your company or service.
It covers everything from investor and government relations to social posts, traditional media coverage and customer service. Good PR celebrates business achievements in an inclusive and authentic way.
It might be a social media post from a telco promoting improved internet speeds or an interview with a CEO talking about a new recycling initiative.
One of the best forms of PR is a positive news article in the relevant trade press or in the mainstream news cycle. This type of brand promotion helps retain existing customers and bring in new ones.
BENEFITS OF PR
The purpose of PR is to build trust and showcase what makes a company different to its competitors.
A genuine customer case study talking about the benefits of a new technology solution can be more impactful than a straight advertising campaign and often cheaper.
Sharing the right customer win could lead to new customer sales and increase the turnover of the business.
An article about a unique type of service can potentially attract investors and lead to the growth of the company.
SOCIAL MEDIA vs PR
Maintaining a strong social media presence can help businesses generate revenue and provide an avenue for customer service.
But if a business only shares information with its existing social media users, it will continue to reach the same limited audience.
PR is designed to reach a wider demographic and generally includes paid social media outreach to try and broaden the company’s reach.
PR agencies specialise in either B2B or B2C clients and generally charge an hourly rate that will change depending on the experience level of the consultant.
Agencies will offer a range of services to help businesses identify their successes and share that message over a wide variety of platforms.
They can work out key audience groups, identify customer wins that technology journalists might be interested in covering and then pitch those stories on their behalf.
There are also agencies that focus on social media and will create a social media campaign from concept through to design and implementation.
This can involve advising on which audiences to target with paid posts and conducting social listening to track how often and where your brand is mentioned online.
GOING IT ALONE
You can generate your own PR by looking at the publications you would like to appear in and identifying opportunities for your business.
Develop your story idea (known as a pitch) and the key points you would like to get across.
Try and establish why you think it makes an interesting story and work out what the photographer could shoot for pictures? Who could the journalist speak to?
Work out what makes it unique before you contact the media. Test it on an impartial friend or an honest co-worker.
If you contact the journalist and they are not sure about the story, ask them what they are looking for? Or what they think you would need to make it a story.
Related: How not to do PR