A chill is in the air. The one that comes with back-to-school, the start of football and a summer-to-fall closet switchover. What a perfect time to revisit some PR 101.
What is PR? At its core, PR is a visibility and reputation building tool. Business professionals that aren’t familiar with PR often have the false belief that PR should and will quickly shine the spotlight on their company resulting in extreme growth. This type of fate is the exception, not the rule, and is reserved for extremely unique companies – think Facebook, Groupon, Google, Apple. While a long term strategic PR program can help influence your sales, PR is not designed to be a solo lead generation or traffic building effort. Also, the product or service must be strong enough that the people you do reach via PR share the product with others and continue to use it.
Some potential clients claim they don’t have any news. I don’t believe it. What may not seem like news to you may be big news to another party that is trying to learn about your industry or organization. While media will not cover every press release written, sharing press releases (at a reasonable interval of time) helps companies stay in the public eye. Reporters today rely on the Internet for news sources so it is important to put your press release on one of the newswires. Even if you don’t have traditional news, e.g., a new client, product or executive, think about ways to package your go-to content in tips, trends or success stories.
Lastly, your PR team can’t work in a vacuum. Like most outsourced services, PR needs an internal advocate – someone to share the company updates, strategize with and help prioritize based on the organization’s needs. Whether hiring an agency, consultant or employee, make sure they have an internal counterpart/project manager/leader that understands the business and market and can share the company’s challenges and goals.
Accepting these PR truths will help you be realistic and know what to expect from your PR program.