Along with traditional and online marketing strategies, effective public relations work is a vital cornerstone of promoting your brand and its messages. Well-executed PR strategies can directly attract new customers, help to retain existing customers, and spread awareness of your brand to a wider audience. But what are the key factors that contribute to an effective public relations campaign? In this blog we’ll look at some core elements of PR success.
- Hone your writing. Producing impeccable and engaging writing is an essential skill in any public relations PR pros are tasked with producing a wide range of written content, from press releases and pitches to social media posts. Good writing isn’t just about correct grammar, syntax and punctuation – although those things are obviously important – it’s also, perhaps more importantly, about style and clarity. Tailoring your writing to the format is also a vital skill. There can be a world of difference between writing a press release of 300-400 words and writing a 280-character tweet, but a good PR professional should be able to handle both with equal skill.
- The importance of networking. It’s often said that public relations is about trust. There’s a difference between marketing/advertising, which is often defined as “paid media,” and PR work which can be referred to as “earned media.” Earned media is earned by trust; it’s about establishing relationships with journalists, editors and gatekeepers in media, bloggers and influencers, and other thought leaders in your industry. You need to build those relationships, network and work on establishing the trust and respect of those who can help promote your company and spread your brand message.
- Track successes … and failures. This is a vitally important function in marketing – measuring the success and failure of various campaigns and approaches, identifying the return on investment, and so on. In terms of public relations, this can sometimes be less easy to quantify, but nevertheless it is vital to compare the effort and cost of PR work to the results that it achieves. By measuring and analyzing data, you can learn what works, as well as what doesn’t. Learning from your experiences will help you to both perfect your approach and focus your PR efforts in the right areas for success.
- Ensure your stories are shareable. We all know that the holy grail of a social media post – as well as other types of content – is to create something that goes viral. A key element of that is to make your material easily and instantly shareable, in terms of both format and content. Whenever you secure media coverage, ensure links back to your website are included – so that anyone who stumbles across it can easily share it with their followers – and also tag in people who are both influential and also most likely to be interested in it.
- Tell a story. As long ago as the 3rdcentury BC, Socrates believed that communication should be based on true accounts. What he meant was that, to be effective, communications needed to be based on stories that people can identify with. In essence, people buy solutions to problems, and reasons to feel good. If you can show them how you can meet either one of those goals you’ll have a better chance of engaging with your audience.
An effective public relations strategy is vital to the success of any business, but it’s not always straightforward to implement a strategy that will deliver top-notch results. The tips included in this post should help your business achieve success in its PR efforts.