November 16, 2020
Separate to your marketing strategy that promotes your business and its services, a PR strategy is essential to position your brand and its activity as a leading force in its sector, creating meaningful engagements with your community of stakeholders.
Public relations includes many areas of the communications discipline including strategy development, messaging, media relations, social media relations, reputation and crisis management, stakeholder engagement and many more.
A common mistake is to view public relations as a one off publicity event that gets clients and customers calling but these activities while they may garner attention cannot deliver real sustainable results.
For a successful public relations strategy, the starting point for me is always the same. What are your long-term business objectives and how can PR help you to achieve them? Use your time and budget to deliver real value to the bottom line rather than using PR as a nice to have publicity tool.
It is essential to understand when and where PR will help you achieve the best results. It is not always at the beginning of your establishment or your latest campaign.
To help guide you here are key steps to build a PR strategy that contributes to your long-term business objectives.
1. What is your overarching story?
To best position your brand and clearly communicate your point of difference, you must first have a clear understanding of your mission and values.
Why do you exist? What problems are you solving? How can you solve them better than everyone else?
Then identify your target audiences. Who needs you most? And why? What can you do for them? Ensure your values and theirs are aligned for an impactful and sustainable relationship.
2. What are your key moments over the next 6-12 months?
To truly connect with your target audiences, you need to give them something of value.
What activities are you planning in the next 6-12 months that gives you opportunities to do this? Do you have any interesting information you can share with them in a non-sales way? What key moments are coming up for them that you can support?
Take time to reflect on moments in the past that could have been used to communicate to audiences and why – can this be applied to what is coming up?
3. How to share your message with your stakeholders and target audience?
Key to a good relationship is to show you understand what is important to your stakeholders. Whether it is what is keeping them up at night with worry or what drives them. Then look at the ways you can best reach them. Hot tip: it is not always a media release or a social media post that does the job. Look at all the ways they interact and consume information.
4. What are your metrics to measure the success of your PR Strategy?
Again, comeback to your long-term objectives to crate success measurements for PR. What do you want to achieve? Whether its increasing awareness of your brand, engaging key decision makers in debate, influencing legislation, changing consumer behaviour, or selling more of your product or service there are communications metrics to measure these responses.
By always bringing it back to your business targets rather than just counting media likes or social media engagement, you will see the results that really drive long-term success.
With the starting blocks to inform your business’s PR strategy it’s time to put it in action. Remember to bring each element back to your long-term business objectives. Will this help us achieve real results? Then ensure your communications aligns with your marketing strategy.
If you have any questions or would like to chat about what I can do for your business, then don’t be afraid to get in touch!
About Louise Nealon
Award-winning Communications Director, Louise Nealon, helps purpose-led organisations and minority groups that support humanity, to be visible and heard – in order to create positive change in the world.