In any journey, vehicles play an important role, as choosing a right vehicle determines when and if at all you will reach your destination. The public relations is no different. Depending on your destination or in business context, your goals & objectives, the types of PR journeys include media relations, investor relations, crisis management, reputation management, customer relations and global relations. For each type of journey, there is a range of vehicles ready to take you there. However, as planning is required before any trip, a great amount of planning is essential in PR as well before you proceed your journey.
The goals and objectives of most of the PR campaigns include raising image of and awareness about the company or company services; influence product, market and corporate positioning; position company decision makers & management as industry experts; pursue articles/news releases to generate leads, etc.
There are several vehicles riding on which the above goals and objectives can be achieved. This article will take you through these vehicles in detail for better understanding of their role in successful PR.
Let us first start with planning of a PR campaign journey. To begin with, one needs to have a list of some leading media players & analyst firms in hand. Cultivating long-term relationships with these stakeholders goes a long way in putting across effective communication to the target market. Once you know your target, you need to hit it with right kind of communication.
Lets us start with Press Kits, which are one of the very important vehicles that play a vital role in helping editors do their jobs more effectively. Anything that makes an editor’s job easier increases your opportunities for better coverage. A good press kit should include press releases, case histories, product or service information, company background information, biographies of spokespeople, customer or reference list etc.
Next in line are press releases. Press releases should always be sent to the editors and analysts through the medium they most prefer like e-mail, fax, or courier. The inverted pyramid style of writing is the most effective style of writing a press release. Put the most important information in the first paragraph and use the later paragraphs to fill in the details.
Further, face-to-face meetings with the editors and journalists are a great way to build company recognition and maintain reputation. These meetings develop long-term relationships with editors which in turn might give you an edge above the competitors to have positive things written about you and your company in media, provided you stick to your ethics and deliver quality in your services.
Tradeshows & conferences are another effective ways of communication. Pre-briefing editors with your announcements before the show helps a lot. This not only gets you more attention, it actually makes the job of an editor easy to specifically search out your booth in case you are exhibiting. Though you can pre-brief the editors, it is advisable to save some information for the show itself, so you have a good reason to meet with the press again. This is a great opportunity for the company management to give interviews to the journalists, as journalists prefer utilizing their time in getting relevant inputs from the business leaders along with their coverage of a trade show.
Conferences are an effective platform for the company management to speak on topic relevant to their business. Thus, promoting the experts within your company through speaking engagements at conferences, association meetings or seminars also captures attention. Corporate awards and product awards add credibility to your organization. It is a responsibility of a PR person to learn about the nomination process, speak with the review boards, past winners and judges, the activity that can help you win some of the prestigious awards.
Writing regular articles on subject of interest to your company in leading magazines and news portals is another important vehicle that gives a company a good visibility. Authored articles help position the management and the company as authorities in the market. Last but not the least online PR is today gaining huge importance due to its ability to reach wide range of audience globally.