Businesses now exist in a world where a single post, image or video is able to affect the entire organization, positively or negatively.
Mistakes or human errors are able to push your brand from a hero to a zero.
With disasters potentially waiting to happen, a company’s public relations department plays the role of preventing such events through overseeing and planning how a company executes activities.
As such, public relations plays a significantly crucial role in managing organizational expectations and the reputational framework of a given company.
Let’s delve more into more detail about what public relations is, and what makes a create a strong public relations strategy.
What is Public Relations?
Public relations can be defined as a communication strategy that builds a good reputation and mutually beneficial bonds between organizations and their targetted publics.
Simply put, the main premise of public relations revolves around creating effective buzz, interest, and transmitting the right messages.
A clean and efficiently planned PR story or campaign can yield a variety of online benefits, such as :
- Web traffic
- High search engine rankings
- Strong backlinks for SEO
- Gaining the opportunity to be picked up by other news sites, blogs, TV, print, etc.
As shown above, PR consists of advantageous components that greatly contribute to the growth of any organization.
However, in a competitive media industry, the content available online is vast and is always increasing in volume by the day. Trends are ever-evolving, and potential crises may occur at any time.
So how exactly do you create a strong PR strategy that helps your company survive and strive in the field?
Parts Of a Powerful Public Relations Strategy?
1. Data analytics
By collecting and analyzing data, organizations are able to use strategic information in aspects such as sales, marketing, and product development.
Organizations will know what their competitors are doing and learn what they are lacking.
Data is able to provide all the information needed to make important decisions and identify what sort of risks your organization will be facing. Potential PR crises are also easily avoided with sufficient insights.
There are PR tools available that will conduct a thorough audit for your organization, determining vulnerable areas that would possibly cause catastrophes in the near future.
These are the same software that would gather, categorize and organize data tailored to your organization’s needs.
2. Understand Your Market
Along with technology, public relations is probably one of the most rapidly changing markets.
To keep up with the pace, you need to be aware of what’s happening around you to take action immediately and staying ahead of the game.
This is where you need to use everything at your disposal to remain intact with the latest news.
There are many useful portals that offer to provide what are currently making the headlines – from credible newspapers, podcasts via platforms like iTunes and Spotify, blogs from influential people in your niche, Google Trends, as well as Google Alerts.
These are some of the methods you can use to ensure you’re up to date with necessary information.
3. Media Relations
One of the most effective ways of having great public relations is probably the most basic one.
Working together with the media.
When you achieve synergy with the media, it increases the chance that they pick up your campaign. This could do wonders for your organization’s publicity.
It does not really matter if it’s a mere press release or a full-blown PR extravaganza. Strong ties to the media will give you a plausible upper hand, particularly in this time where blog power is able to make the judgment.
Journalists and editors are busy people who hardly have the time to read every news article or press release.
Have one on your side and you have an advantage into getting the media attention your campaign needs. But how do you get them rooting for your cause?
Newsworthiness needs to be prioritized in your story. The most promising way to guarantee this is to make sure your news is timely and interesting.
With this, it is already half the battle won in gaining the interest of a media source. Next, you need to contact your preferred media outlet directly to introduce yourself and really sell your news.
If they’re not free to talk at that time, offer to call back (or even meet) at a more convenient time.
Meeting someone face-to-face is one of the best ways to build trust – and if your story is indeed newsworthy and you offer first bite at future releases, you’ll stand more chance of building a strong media contact.
If they are occupied at that time, you should offer to call back or better yet, meet at a more convenient time. To build trust, meeting someone physically would be the best way of approach.
If your story is indeed newsworthy and you offer early access, you’ll definitely stand more chance in maintaining strong media contact.
4. Technology And Monitoring The Web
In today’s predominantly online business industry, there’s no better medium than online for presenting a major news story.
Social platform giants like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Youtube are now heavily equipped by PR agencies for their clients.
Viral marketing and video campaigns are two of the persuasive ways that businesses are reaching a worldwide audience.
More importantly, social media platforms allow instant interaction between you and your consumers, as well as potential consumers.
Additionally, an example of online promotional tools such as a blog allows your organization to showcase a more personal side of your business personality and can assist you to connect to your key audience in a proper way manner.
Also, this is where media monitoring takes place. For instance, you have a new product on the market and it has been receiving some negative comments on social sites.
If you are not quick to monitor the situation, then you would not be able to address any questions asked.
Soon, this will eventually turn into a damageable crisis. Receiving and answering negative comments as well as resolving issues is key in sustaining a good reputational image online.
It helps your organization understand what is lacking in your product and services, and gives you the direction you need to make amendments.
Organizations can use media monitoring tools to get notified of any social reactions.
You have to be on top of your game and be ready for any sort of news as consumers created material is the fastest growing medium on the web – using it to your advantage would give you profitable success.
Incorporating A Data-driven Public Relation Strategy
Understanding Your Consumers
Hustling through a consumer-oriented era, it is vital that organizations are equipped with consumer information and data in order to better shape their products, solutions, and purchase experiences.
Research has shown that companies that are using their consumer behavior insights strategically are able to beat their competition by 85 percent in profit margins and by more than 25 percent in gross margins.
A complete and quality understanding of customers through market division can offer organizations insightful data about buying preferences and patterns.
This would lead to the types of content over what platforms and formats that are most likely able to gain the biggest effect on consumer segments.
The usage of risk analytics can help organizations predict and measure risk.
Organizations need to perceive risk analytics as an industrial practice and develop ways to extract related information across various organization levels.
The data gathered should be properly placed into one central platform.
By instilling a standard protocol in quantifying and handling risk, companies will be able to factor in the potential risk into their core decision-making process and foresee likely circumstances.
Connecting With The World
Data analytics is able to help express your story in a way that connects to trends and circulating topics outside of your firm.
By having strategic data, your story can be linked to the outside world, a big movement, a festive holiday, a viral phenomenon.
Segmentation and picking up on specific journalist takes you to the right places, associating it to trends makes your campaign remarkable to a wide audience, and packaging it conveniently makes it easy to write.
Data introduces new angles and depth to your story, providing context and objectivity.
As a result, your organization will be able to receive a fair amount of media attention.
How To Measure PR impacts?
- Content Analysis. – Monitor the content of the articles published. You should evaluate what has been written about your organization, whether it has been praised or placed under a bad light
- Press Clippings – Track the number of press clippings that mention your company or products. The more amount of mentions you get in media outlets, the better.
- Website Traffic. – Another way of determining the success rate of your campaign is to record the traffic your website has received before and after launching your campaign, especially taking note of spikes in site traffic.
- Social Media Mentions. – Assessment through social media should focus on the conversation and commentary revolving around your brand, as well as the social communities in your sector.
- Lead Sourcing. – To know if your public relations efforts have positively affected your stakeholder’s choices, simply survey and ask new consumers how they heard about your organization and their genuine impression.
Importance Of Public Relations
For a more in-depth understanding of the importance of PR, we have already discussed it here.
In brief, a well-publicized brand is capable of getting exceptional traffic and profit as Public Relations is a big part of marketing, promotional and digital processes.
Investors are more likely going to contribute their share to companies with better reputations as compared to those who don’t. PR helps shape business strategies that are reliant, stable and productive.
It is exactly the boost of confidence that every organization would need for their business to progress and expand.