Public relations helps shape public opinion about a company or an issue that is important to an organization. As such, it’s great for tapping into passionate fan bases and introducing a company to new people.
What makes public relations great?
Influencers shape conversations locally and globally.
The first key to public relations is understanding how to identify, reach and influence people who influence your target audience. Examples include:
- Reporters who cover specific beats
- Influential bloggers writing about market niches
- Community leaders
Once you identify the influencers, you have to deliver the right story at the right time. Influencers often want to be the first to know, so you have to weigh the advantages of giving an influencer “an exclusive” versus sending to all influencers at the same time.
When public relations makes sense
Public relations is often driven by events in the marketplace. Your goal is to connect your company news with a market in meaningful way.
Influencers are looking for:
- Customer success stories. They want to talk and write about real-world scenarios.
- Uniqueness. You could be first to the market. You might have a new solution to a customer problem. These are just two ways to be unique.
Some common public relations events include:
- Announcements like new products or changes in leadership
- Strategic partnerships
- Statements about industry issues
- Opinion articles
Public relations as part of integrated marketing
Public relations has its place in the integrated marketing mix. It’s often the best choice when launching a new company or product by leveraging existing influencers.
That said, a public relations campaign needs collateral, an effective website and sometimes advertising, all of which fall under marketing. Similarly, a well-coordinated social media campaign can enhance and leverage the work of public relations.
Public relations is a necessity when a crisis strikes.
Bad things can happen to good companies. How you respond will dictate what customers and critical influencers think of you well into the future.
In a crisis, your goals are to:
- Have spokespeople ready to represent the company
- Share your side of the story, including how customers can get help if needed
- Correct inaccuracies when it makes sense
Preparation is the key. Anticipating crises, planning responses and even conducting drills are parts of effective crisis communications.
Measuring the results
Public relations results are less tangible but still important.
The best direct measures of public relations include:
- Influencers reached
- Influencer actions
- Potential audience
- Website traffic
Advanced measurement techniques include surveys to measure overall awareness (and change resulting from public relations work) and sentiment toward an organization or brand.
Effective public relations can also assist your company’s SEO efforts when news stories and blog posts contain a link back to your company’s website. Well-written press releases can also benefit SEO.
How Amy Atkinson Communications can help you with public relations
Amy Atkinson Communications can help you with all of the following:
- Influencer identification and list development
- Outreach to influencers
- News releases
- Media training for executives
- Crisis communications planning and execution
Hire Amy Atkinson Communications as a public relations coach
Amy Atkinson has managed multi-million dollar public relations projects and crises communications for a number of companies.
Amy will help the team create a plan, develop messaging, contact influencers and more. She is available for ongoing coaching to ensure the plan stays on target and help the company improve its public relations results.
Having managed teams of more than 30 marketing and public relations professionals, Amy understands how to get the most from small and large teams — be they on staff or agency partners.
Amy can provide coaching in any or all of the following areas:
- Writing an effective public relations plan
- Anticipating and preparing for crises
- Identifying and contacting influencers
- Writing news releases and other content
- Reporting to top management