HMMM… SO WHAT IS PR?
In my book, it is everything you say, everything you do and everything people say about you.
Get out of your head it is all about getting in the media. That is the ultimate in publicity but as soon as you put your face online, post on Facebook, attend a networking event, or write a blog, you are building a relationship with your public.
That is what PR is really about
Powerful relationships using stories to connect.
PR is such an overlooked tool in the marketing toolbelt. We forget how much people love storytelling. How much they want to believe in something bigger than them. How much they want to work with people who are real and who give a hoot about them.
When you are out spruiking your wares across all the platforms at our fingertips these day, remember PR is:
Any activity that keeps your brand or you top of mind in a positive way
Not just about the media…brand messaging and positioning, awards and speaking engagements, social media, media training, thought leadership, blogging, content marketing
Earned media – you did not have to buy it
Third party endorsement – something you cannot buy
Not a solution if you want a quick fix
Used in conjunction with other marketing tools
Grow your publicity seed
PR is like a seed; it takes time to take root and needs to be nurtured to grow. It:
Is a long term strategy
Builds loyalty, recognition and connections
Builds relationships - maintaining healthy media relations
Amplifies your profile – here today, gone tomorrow. PR is about getting key messages out to targeted media outlets
Using PR for business is not new
In the 1800s, Alvin Adams, a shipping and banking trailblazer, said “…Public relations are a key component of any operation in this day of instant communications and rightly inquisitive citizens.” If some dude from the 1800s thought this about PR then, do you see how valuable it is for your business now?
Your target audience want and need your stories
There are thousands of journalists and content platforms on the lookout for good stories – they really do want your stories. The media is a great conduit to your target audience. When starting this PR journey, that is who you need to focus on – your ideal client. What do they read and listen to? Is it online magazines or blogs? Is it podcasts? Or do they hangout on Facebook or LinkedIn?
Where to start with PR
Let’s start at the very beginning, shall we? Get to know your target audience well; they should become your best friend. Know what they like, dislike and most of all what is the problem they need solving. From there you can start working out which media platform to use – mainstream, online, blogs, videos, social. When you know the problems they need solving, you have the start of a long list of potential story ideas you can create content around.
From there, create a plan. This plan is your PR roadmap. Imagine getting into a car to drive to Location A and not using a map; your destination may not be where you expect. The same goes for a business … you need strategy and a plan so you know where you are going, what works and what does not, what stories you are writing or pitching to the media and what platforms you will use.
Go on, be different
PR is not just about getting media coverage (have I mentioned that?); it's also about the relationships you establish with your audience, clients, and other stakeholders through networking, speaking gigs, social media, blogs and other interactions. PR is about communicating with the audiences that matter to you. You are probably doing PR without even realising it – your content marketing, the posts on Facebook and Twitter, your Linkedin profile, the talk you did at the local networking group …
PR can benefit your business in many ways… and can dovetail with your current marketing plan (do you have one?). PR helps get you noticed, build your reputation and profile. Chances are many of your competitors have not considered PR as a strategy either – so it can set you apart. I know I am harping on about this but I really need you to get that PR is not something other people do ... it's something you SHOULD be doing RIGHT now.