August 2, 2011 Leave a comment
The World Book Encyclopedia defines public relations, or PR, as “an activity aimed at increasing communication and understanding between an organization or individual and one or more groups called publics.” That is a good start. A good PR or media relations campaign also informs and educates. If you think about it learning how to communicate, explain and educate the public about you and your company, service or product really drills down to the basics of business. And this is true whether or not you’re looking at launching a PR campaign. Whether you’re launching a public relations campaign or building a strategy for the overall communications, marketing and branding for your business, following the PR blueprint is an invaluable exercise.
Why is PR such a valuable tool?
Simple. Referrals, or the lack thereof, are what make or break most businesses. Business growth basically comes down to that very low-tech, old-as-the-hills strategy known as “word of mouth.
If you have a great product or service, but are unable to communicate what makes it great, who it’s for and why anyone should buy it, you’re in trouble. The basic steps for launching a PR campaign make for a great blueprint for any business owner to follow. Once you’ve outlined these you know what your message is, what your target market is, how to reach your target market and what your primary selling points are.
The Basic Questions To Answer Before Launching A PR Campaign Include:
Who are your target markets?
Why is your product or service valuable?
What problems does it solve?
What value does it offer?
Who is your primary target market?
How do you reach that target market?
When developing a media relations campaign, we then focus on the media outlets, when and how to pitch them and what angle to pitch where. But, even if you don’t get to that stage, simply answering the above questions can be invaluable. We’ve consulted with clients where our focus has been on defining the message, market and brand, without actively launching a campaign.
A successful campaign is based on lucid, crisp, to the point communication. You clearly appeal to your target markets’ wants and needs, and you illustrate how you, your product or your service meets those needs. You also need to throw in a little imagination and creative brainstorming.
Communicate your message in the shortest amount of time with the greatest impact. This is an important business skill, as well as a media skill; because we live in a 24/7 world and we’re assaulted with up to 20,000 images a day. Our attention spans are short – only about 10 seconds – so you need to engage the listener and you need to do it quickly.
For a campaign to be truly effective, it needs to be well strategized and thought out. It is a cumulative process that builds day by day and month by month. I have seen both businesses and careers launched through public relations, but I have also witnessed campaigns that went nowhere. The latter is usually due to ignorance of the process.
Know your market(s). You may have the best product in the world, but if you’ve picked the wrong target audience, or don’t know who they are, they’re needs, what defines them, it’s not going to work.
So, whether you’re launching a PR campaign, or are simply putting together the building blocks for your business, marketing and branding, follow the PR basics and develop your business game plan.
Copyright © Anthony Mora 2011