Public relations departments – especially in larger companies – put in a lot of work in terms of media pitching and other activities, but it’s probably fair to say that the work may not always be visible to others in the business. While it’s true that PR teams, in common with every other part of a business, should be judged on results and not how hard they have tried, there can be advantages in keeping stakeholders in your company informed on an ongoing basis about your PR efforts.
From marketing teams to CEOs or others who have provided articles or interviews for placement, keeping key stakeholders informed on a weekly basis is a way of both showing that you value their contribution, and allowing them to appreciate what public relations professionals do. A successful PR professional has methods and tools to keep all their plates spinning, whether content is being created, approved or is at the media pitching stage. A basic tracking document which clearly displays which pieces of content are at what stage can be a valuable tool in providing regular communication on projects to executives and other parts of the company.
Regular meetings or updates with stakeholders can be a great way to build a more collaborative relationship between PR and others in the company. Done right, this can lead to a steady flow of content pushing key messages for the PR team to pitch out to the most relevant publications and target audiences.
Working more closely with other stakeholders can also involve input on which publications to target for pitches. While it can be good to achieve a wide spread of publications covering your brand’s message, it’s also important to target more specifically.Public relations professionals should agree with stakeholders on a “tier-one” publication list at the outset of a campaign, ensuring the message is directed at those publications that are of highest value to your organization.
Collaborative tracking of PR progress can also be useful in a deeper analysis of how various public relations efforts have succeeded – or otherwise. Look at how much of the coverage of your brand consists of news items generated from your press releases, then consider how many are magazine or online features that came from media pitching to a journalist. Look at how many times quotes from interviews with executives or other senior figures have been used, then consider whether you are successfully securing the publication of enough thought-leadership piece with a byline credited to your executives. It can also help to think about what other metrics need to be in place for a successful campaign – for example if your pitching goals have a geographical element.
Overall, building the working relationship with your executives and other key stakeholders in your business, and holding regular meetings to provide updates on progress and successes, can be a means to both strengthen the processes of your PR team, and to build trust and accountability with other parts of your business.