What exactly defines Public Relations and what makes it a promotional powerhouse for your business? While advertising is targeted and very focused, Public Relations programs strive to present all aspects of your business—your products, culture and community connections—in front of your target audience consistently.
Public Relations campaigns are multi-faceted and aim to reach the consumer or target audience (potential investors, employees, community leaders) through a diversity of media outlets. As the pieces that appear in various outlets are often placed by a PR person or agency rather than a sales person, there is an inherent sense of credibility that may not come through in a traditional advertisement. There is a sense of objectivity that is valuable in and of itself.
The reach of a good PR campaign is extensive. While utilizing traditional print, radio and television venues that are customarily used in advertising, Public Relations managers are making good use of a full array of other tools as well.
More than Just a Press Release
Good PR is about creating favorable impressions. Be it of a product, a line of products, your company’s latest philanthropy or a biography of the new CEO, the goal is to find the best outlets to spread the word and present the image the client wishes to portray.
Though the standard Press Release we’re all familiar with is part of the package, a comprehensive PR program will likely include some of the following tools as well: media tours, press conferences, newsletters, speaking engagements and event sponsorships. Each of these options will reach different target audiences with the message that you want them to hear.
Great PR doesn’t just sell a product. A sound PR program will work to make your company and your products a known and trusted part of the community in which you operate. That image will foster loyalty and strengthen sales in ways that traditional advertising alone just can’t compete with.
Good PR—Good Impression
Goals for a wide-ranging PR program are to excite interest, provide detailed information, expand awareness, enhance brand loyalty and educate the target audience.
More than just communicating what product you are trying to sell and its price, good PR provides the audience with an evolved image of your company’s culture and mission. Increasingly consumers find it important to know about the company and its policies, not just the products it makes.
Using the broad spectrum of available media outlets will help you reach these goals. Every company must be savvy and involved with social media. The internet has given us so many low cost tools to get the word out and promote products.
Facebook and Twitter and Pinterest, Oh My!
Public Relations professionals have so many new tools in their arsenal now. Many forms of social media have become standard avenues for promoting your company and products. Fast and effective, it’s important to ensure that when you choose to use these platforms that you do so consistently and keep your internet and social media presence current and fresh.
A new consideration with interactive media like these is that comments and reviews must be monitored by your PR professional. Negative comments posts must be dealt with swiftly and courteously. While an article in the local newspaper may get a mention in a letter to the editor, a Facebook post or Tweet invites myriad and instant response. Monitoring your “cyber” presence is a critical and relatively new aspect of good public relations.
Tying it all Together
In summary, a good Public Relations campaign will present a multi-faceted image of your business. More than just a product, the company’s mission, culture, values and strengths will be distributed through a number of innovative and far-reaching media outlets.
Your company is far more than the product you wish to sell—great Public Relations will make sure the whole picture is communicated through many different channels.