Your 5 Point Public Relations Prescription

YOUR 5 POINT PUBLIC RELATIONS PRESCRIPTION

Public Relations plans are more important to businesses than ever before.

With the Internet finding its way to every phone and home, it’s easier to stay connected to customers and construct marketing plans with enormous reach.

It’s up to you to meet this challenge head on, and you can do that by having your PR plan in place.

Whatever questions people ask, you must be ready to handle them.

Here are a few principles of Public Relations to always keep in mind.

Tell Stories with Purpose

Long reach Public Relation campaigns take time. You don’t just get your thoughts into someone’s head much less persuade them to be in your tribe or to buy overnight. Much like a romance it takes a little time to woo.
As in writing a story, you’re trying to get people to see a clear picture and that requires patience from you in communicating with your audience. Don’t tell them something in an effort to feel like you’re doing something. Focus on telling the right stories and do it with conviction.

Promise Little, Deliver a Lot

Part of any Public Relations campaign is setting and managing expectations. If people are zealous and over-ambitious, nothing you release will meet their expectations and an unnecessarily high number of them will ultimately be disappointed. Promise just a little less than what you’re planning to deliver; this will keep their interest but will also surprise them by giving more than was expected. Then, always over deliver and delight.

Know Who You’re Talking To

Having a handle on your audience is imperative. It allows you to know not just what their problems are and what solutions they need, but also the stories they want and on the platforms they most use for delivery. Everybody wants to go to the New York Times but now people are found on Instagram, Pinterest or LinkedIn. Your audience is listening via many platforms and while some brands can run entire campaigns without customizing what they say to fit their current audience, you’re not going to find success that way. So get to know your target market. Knowing who they are and where they dwell will help your company develop products and services, plus it will be key to deciding the words or pictures to required to deliver your message in the most constructive way.

Focus on Consequences Instead of Action

Every action taken by a company must have purpose. Action without purpose is wasteful in terms of time, ideas and money. Unfortunately, it’s easy to get bogged down by history and tradition and simply forge ahead in a time-honored manner. So think about how you will go from a to b to c and what actions are needed to get you there. So many people post randomly to social media without thinking of the consequences or have any idea of what they’re trying to say or who they are saying it. Decide what results you want from your PR and reverse construct your campaign. Working backwards will give you clarity and a clear idea of the purpose of your message.

Learn From People Outside your Company

Company culture and loyalty can make it difficult to see things on the outside. Being so focused on listening to trusted voices means you can easily lose sight of other contexts and viewpoints. All can be damaging to your PR.  Look around you; competing companies are a wealth of information and so it’s essential that you look at what they’re doing. If they’re doing something that may not seem to match their brand think about why they might be doing it. What context could possibly justify their actions? Answering these questions will lead to insight into not just the competition, but also to your target market.

In essence, great Public Relations isn’t easy.

People can react in unpredictable ways and everyone wants to be heard. If people turn against you it can feel like nothing you do or say can turn the situation into your favor. But that’s not true – and that is exactly why the fundamentals are so important.

Proper PR is less about having total control and more about participating, listening, engaging and organizing to minimize risk.

Focus on great PR, follow the rules set above – and you’ll always have a handle on your audience and know how to delight them.