Putting the ‘Public’ back in PR

I said pubLIC….

So I’ve been reviewing a lot of articles about “why PR is important”, “what is PR”, etc.

Most offer a good understanding of this diverse area of expertise but often only touch on tactics like Media Releases, Press tours, Trade shows, Product shots (and sometimes) Social Networking … but what I found interestingly lacking was mention of the word PUBLIC when describing PR?

As per my website (soon to be refurbished btw) a crucial part of Public Relations for many SMBs is actually centred around your corporate image and relationship with your immediate public, neighbours and community.

In addition to reaching “as many eyeballs as possible to get the word out about how your product is the greatest” !!!…. PR may also be micro-tailored to include strategies that support an organization’s foundation and its roots.

Let’s say your company’s intention is to gain (or sway) support of a specific group or outlet upon which your success depends (investors, government, industry, community leaders) . A PUBLIC Relations campaign may include things like:

  • Developing a multi-level outreach strategy to specific persons or organizations.
  • Create a mini-campaign or separate event (socially, internally) to build following and likeability among similar groups to the one you are targeting.
  • Maintaining a consistent image and message in front of key audiences – speaking, media, other.
  • Fostering relationships / setting up meetings with influencers and change makers in local communities.

The word ‘public’ is also the number of different “audiences” on which your organization depends for its success, such as:

  • Thought leaders
  • Activists
  • Sponsors/Investors
  • Partners
  • Customers…

Each requires their own key messages to be driven home in order to gain their respect and support.

(… and we wonder why it is SO hard to answer when someone asks – “PR – so what does that involve.” … Got an hour?)

What do you think? Do you often consider these micro-publics in your PR strategy? Or are you focused on the big three – MEDIA, FACEBOOK and TWITTER?

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Good Articles Come to Those Who Wait

waitingWhen I build my media lists, I always include monthly and industry magazines that are published around the clients area. Although at times it is much harder to get the attention of these highly targeted publications, I view the additional time to tailor a pitch worth it, for three reasons:

1. It allows the client to see how his/her product or service can be translated to ‘fit’ in front of different audiences (readership base) – giving them better appreciation for PR and messaging approach.

2. These publications often have a longer shelf life as well as ‘shareabilty’ due to their quality, targeted demographic and visual appeal – therefore more chances for client to be seen.

3. Because of longer lead times and editorial schedules, it’s always fun to call a client after you have finished up a contract to let them know that they have yet another interview/article.

This happened most recently for a client of mine who was approached by a widely read lifestyle publication out of Georgian Bay area, four months after her initial launch took place.

Why PR people like this:

  • Allowed me to deliver value to the client MONTHS after our partnership.
  • Keeps my services on the radar for further engagement
  • Great reminder for client to give a referal 😉