What does the public say about your brand? What are their impressions about it? Questions like these form the nexus of your public relations strategy. There is more to consider than just how your company will be portrayed by the media. How you communicate inside and outside of your enterprise, the tactics you employ, your involvement in the community, etc. So here are a few tips on how to get started.
Tactics represent the activities that can help you accomplish your PR strategy. For example, if you were looking to raise awareness of a new service your company offers, you might go with a tactic like distributed media release. You would send it to publications relevant to your industry and target audience with the objective of securing an article about the new service. Other tactics include:
pitching an interesting story about your business to journalists.
A good place to begin is to make a list of the types of publications your target audience consumes, the events they go to and how they use their time online. This can act as a guide to what kinds of tactics would be most effective.
Local community relations
Your business is a part of its local community. Community relations establish your company’s presence and the perceptions of others. Keep in that, just like your organization is tied to its local community, so too should your public relations strategy be tied to your own locale. In other words, you should hire a locally based PR agency, as it will have a better and deeper understanding of the local populace and methods to employ.
For example, if a company is from Australia it should look there – going further, a business from Sydney would hire a PR agency from Sydney, etc. You can get your business involved in the community in multiple ways. For instance, with community programs concentrating on the economic growth of the area, public health, public education, and the environment. Or by actively sponsoring or donating service and by volunteering.
Your target audience
Your target audience consists of individuals, communities, and groups who are most likely to purchase your products. They are the ones you’re trying to convert and sell to – the people you want to communicate with.
To identify who belongs to your target audience first look for those who would be interested in hearing about your business, those who are key decision-makers, those with the largest impact on the business’ outcomes and those who will take action or boy your service or product.
Once you understand your target audience a bit more, you can research their behaviors and interests such as what media they consume or what publications they peruse. When you define your target audience you can tailor your communication to suit their behavior patterns and in turn, increase the efficiency of your PR strategy.
Once you’ve defined your target audience, it’s time to decide what it is you wish to communicate to them. Key messages will direct your overall strategy and need to be used throughout all communication channels. When determining your key messages, you should consider doing the following:
staying focused and keeping your key messages concise,
aligning your key messages with your business’s values,
reflecting on your key messages what you want your audience to know,
keeping key messages relevant to your audience.
For example, a sports supplements company would include the following as one of the key messages they would like their strategy to communicate to the target audience – “To establish the business as an industry leader in healthy, science-based nutrition supplements retail”.
How your company faces a crisis or other surprising instance can make or break your business. Having an adequate crisis management plan in place beforehand enables your company to operate as efficiently as possible through a crisis and preserve your image.
External and internal communications are particularly of importance during these periods in order to keep the situation under control. Even if a crisis can’t be avoided, the very least you should do is prepare for it.
While no business has a perfect PR strategy, being aware of its essentials and considering other important factors will let you build at least one that is well-though and well-developed.