For business to develop a successful PR strategy, it is not necessary to spend a huge amount of money on PR agencies. Small businesses especially, can develop effective PR strategies by their own provided they know their target market well.
It is extremely important for a company to know its customers well before developing a PR strategy. The more you know which community uses your product, the easier it is to identify which media you need to work with. However, if you intend to do a PR campaign for a broader segment of your stakeholders, not limiting it to just your customers, you can use the media that commands leading position in the business.
After identifying the target market and an appropriate media, it is than vital for you to develop an effective communication. One needs to remember that before your news story reaches the market, you have to first convince the media to publish it. Remember, at this stage you’re trying to sell your product or service to the media so that your story reaches unadulterated to the market. For this, one needs to let the media know the benefits of your product or services. Having good analysis or numbers to prove the worth of your product would help as well.
Once the media publishes the story, it is than up to the target audience to take it further. Whether the reader finds the story worth reading or not depends on the kind of content you provide them to read. For this, you should give them what they want to hear and not what you want to say. Put in forefront the benefits of your product to them. Make your headline eye-catching. Establish the uniqueness of your product. It’s important to be able to prove your product is faster, better, cleaner or more cost-effective than your competitors’ product or industry standard. Such specific and proven advantages will provide the media concrete evidence to feature your product over anyone else’s and people to have trust on your news content. Testimonials or quotes from renowned people will help as well.
As the above factors matter to the print media, so do they matter to other media vehicles as well. Apart from print media, a PR strategist also needs to find out which media outlets your target market typically views or listens to. Even in these cases what matters is the quality of your content and your capability to put forward the uniqueness of your product in an effective way.
Furthermore, it is also very important for a PR person to have a good network of media. One needs to let the media know you have a story that may interest them and their readers. One can give them a brief of the story for them to decide whether they would like to take it up or not. Call your contact when you said you would, to follow up or confirm whether or not they received the information you sent and offer to provide more information if necessary. However, this should be done without being pushy. One needs to remember if the story is of value, it will sell itself.
Last but not the least, one of the very important parts of PR strategy is evaluation of the PR campaign. One needs to evaluate the effectiveness of the PR campaign, as without this, it is difficult to understand the impact it had on the public. Not that everything is quantifiable, but whatever is should be analyzed so as to understand the effectiveness of a PR campaign.