Public relations is the art of engaging the public through the media and influencing opinion. For many companies it is an essential part of their marketing strategy, and they even go through training course to master it. For others, it can supplement a strong marketing/ advertising push to create a comprehensive external communications efforts. Examples of public relations include press releases, social media, answering customer inquiries and most importantly, engaging the media (newspapers, magazines, television etc.).
A professionally trained public relations expert can help you create a unified message that helps your marketing & business development. They can help you define your product or service from the customer’s point-of-view, get you on the speaker’s panel at trade shows and conventions, get articles about your firm in the relevant trade publications, help with collateral material development. An trained agent should also make sure your presentation is professional, with excellent support materials, so that your message, like your photographs are in focus, instead of a blur.
Don’t expect PR contacts to get you ink with weak, boring or untimely material. Editors are bombarded with puff stories in fancy press kits. Make sure you have a story interesting enough to stand out. Even if you think you don’t have a story to tell, it may be worth your while to interview a few firms to see if they can suggest ways to promote your business you had not considered.
Get the agency on the management team. Train them part of your strategy at the planning stage of products and programs. They can add helpful ideas and steer you away from policies that create expensive problems. According to Niehaus, “One mistake too many companies make is not bringing an agency in early enough for announcements. Launching products or services takes time and many companies begin the work months in advance.”
Don’t expect too much too soon for too little money. A PR firm will likely need to train a couple of months to do their spade work and a couple more months will pass before any media results can be expected. In the meanwhile, they should be helping with trade publications and collateral materials. Results will come even more slowly unless the agency has the full training and cooperation of your staff and access to the executives on an as-needed basis. Also, the better job you do of positioning your product or service, the more the agency can concentrate on getting results.
Do expect to have instant access to your account executive or at least be able to reach someone at the agency knowledgeable enough to help you. Meet the principals of the agency and discuss how often they will be getting together with you and what your expectations are from the relationship. Expect clear, explicit plans once you get started. The plan should tell how they will be trained to penetrate your target media, planning for special events, developing targeted collateral materials and accessing your most appropriate markets.
Is Public Relations Right For You And Your Business?
PR is the most affordable form of marketing. Unlike advertising, which can require the hiring of designers, content writers and creative directors, public relations is a much more focused effort that revolves around engaging the media. PR typically requires a smaller staff and thus is far more inexpensive. Smaller companies tend to look at public relations first and then once they get larger, will begin to advertise.
PR Vs Advertising
In Malaysia, PR is also more widely used than advertising. Many types of businesses are not traditional users of advertising for a variety of reasons. A law firm, some smaller financial institutions and other industries that have an explicit or implicit ban on advertising will see public relations as the only means they are allowed to use market themselves to a wider audience. Other industries traditionally avoid advertising simply because it is seen as too expensive and rely on PR as their primary means of marketing.
Potential Negatives Of PR
While PR is generally affordable, it isn’t always the best way to market your business. Some products and services are really best left to advertising. If you have a window cleaning service, for example, an article in the local paper might be helpful, but a campaign of flyers around the Malaysian neighbourhood would probably be better.
PR can also cause damage your business if done improperly and without expert’s training. Since it is conducted through a neutral third party, the media, you may be confronted by uncomfortable questions about your business. Be prepared before you engage the media to answer any and all confrontational queries.
Start Out With Public Relations, Then Move On To Other Mediums
PR relations would mean contacting local media and alerting them to the existence of your business. You may want to hold events that also showcase your business. These events can bring in media attention and make the public aware of your existence more directly. Whatever you do, do it with the same careful consideration you’ve put behind every other aspect of your business and you’ll be far more likely to succeed!
The use of PR has turned into one of the most important aspects when it comes to a business and its performance. The better you do with the PR, the better your audience sees your company as a whole. This process handles everything that your audience would like and wouldn’t.
This is a process in which the interaction and the belief of the audience to your company or brand deal most important. This is actually used to preserve online public image or reputation which deems to be a very important aspect in a business. Now, how does one effectively work on leveraging the use of PR in this process?
Use Traditional Media
Usually, the use of television, radio, magazines and other offline stuff comes with a big amount of budget to be pulled out successfully. But the money always gets the job done.
Use Social Media
Social media is considered as one of the most interactive and effective ways of developing a PR system. To leverage in social media, you might want to train yourself in:
• Network – social networking sites such as Facebook has a lot to offer for leverage. You can use your connections there to initiate sharing & support between your friends and friends’ friends & other potential audience.
• Communities – there are social media websites out there that has a particular niche and gets a group of people sharing a common interest. This is a good opportunity for you to locate that community, so you can pinpoint the audience you need. PR are all about interaction with people. So it is important that you interact with the right audience.
Distribute Newsletters to Audience
Effective public relations can be done through online newsletters. This helps your audience to be aware of the happenings regarding your company as well as the things that might benefit them. You can put videos, photos, articles or any good content for the newsletter to be easily shared and distributed by your audience.
Create a Website
Come on! Let’s face it. A business without a website is not competitive and that is the truth. Creating a website or blog would actually get your business competitive enough to get up the food chain especially when it comes to public relations. A website dedicated for your company dedicated to handle audience inquiries and concerns is a great way to leverage things in the internet. With an easy website name, it serves like a calling card in a large scale. It also provides added income if the page gets high traffic. So, train yourself to create a website or outsource the job to a professional agency.
Be the Reporter
A reporter is always curious, hungry for new information and broadcasts the great news. This is how you should be when you are leveraging the use of PR. This helps you reach more people that could be interested with your brand or company.
Leverage is pretty easy when you know the concept and how it is done. For now, you can train yourself the tactics on these given tips and for sure you’ll get to know the bliss you need for public relations.
Good PR work, including press coverage, goodwill generated, and increased impact on public perception of your firm can be powerfully effective. According to media experts, articles are believed and remembered four to six times more than advertising. So, you can get a big bang for the buck with PR if you have a good story to tell.
Events as a publicity tool has been used as an integral part of the PR business for years and can be far more effective than bombarding editors with press releases. Many companies focus on staging events mainly because their products get lost trying to get undeserved publicity. Events, on the other hand, create great photo opportunities if timely and of interest to the community. In conjunction of this, we also offer an in-house training course related to this in our website.
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YouTube: Rachel Khor
Principal Trainer, Peak Success Abundance Sdn Bhd
From Directive Communication International & American Institute of Business Psychology:
– Certification in Colored Brain Communication
– Certification in Human Drive & Motivation
– Certification in Dynamic Speaking
– Certification in Curriculum Development
– PSMB Certified Trainer
– Certification in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP)
– Certification in Hypnotherapy from London College of Clinical
– 18 years corporate training experience