I still get asked all the time – Does PR work?
Yes, the answer is yes. PR Works.
Public Relations is one of the most important parts of a business. It is defined as the act of establishing relationships with the public for whom a business’s success or failure depends. Sometimes people confuse public relations for media relations only and it’s so much more than that.
If you aren’t sure, here’s a quick list of some of the tactics that we use to help us build those lasting relationships:
- Messaging – Before you do anything, you need to have clear and concise messaging that really delivers on who you are. At Olive, we “illuminate greatness”, so we would never say something is great if it’s not. We only work with clients who are the real deal, so we don’t have to make things up. We help our clients elicit the story they want their target audiences to know. For example, sometimes the story is focused on the mission. A great example is a non-profit organization on a mission to cure a disease. There are so many layers to that messaging. They need separate messaging for the funders, the people receiving services, the media, the scientists and medical professionals, etc. The messaging might only stay focused on the cause or perhaps the founder has a personal connection or story they want to share. The main point is that you get to decide what the world gets to know.
- Media Relations – This is the one most often attributed to public relations and it is truly a big part, but it’s not the only part. Media relations is so powerful because it provides several major benefits:
- When a trusted news outlet or public platform makes a recommendation, consumers often don’t feel the need to look further.
- Third party endorsements result in credibility companies cannot buy.
- The links provide powerful sources for SEO.
- Media coverage perpetuates brand identity and development
- It has a high ROI – Most agencies work on a monthly retainer and in most cases, you can hire an agency for a fraction of the cost of one ad placement but you can receive media coverage in multiple publications. Plus, a media story is more likely to be read than an ad that most consumers try to gaze right past.
- Education through trusted media relations can inform consumers on new topics and drive a shift in consumer behavior.
- It drives large traffic numbers helping us to learn about the effectiveness of your website.
- Media feedback can provide us with powerful feedback allowing us to tweak our strategy and even products sometimes
- Social Media – There are different kinds of social media strategies, but when you develop an engaging social media campaign with the intention of developing a relationship and dialogue, this is absolutely public relations. If your motivation is a hard-hitting ad campaign, then it begins to tip toward advertising. In order to have success, you really need both. At Olive, we partner with trusted social media consultants who do both and it really shows in the results
- Creative Promotions – We are in the era of creative partnerships and promotions. There are so many things we can do to develop creative ways to have fun and bring joy into people’s lives. At Olive, a large part of what we do is figure out how we can cross-promote with other brands who share the same audience. We operate from a space of everyone wins.
- High impact, targeted events – After the pandemic, people are looking for experiences. The quality of these experiences is largely motivated by helping people to elicit joy and connection. When you can create a high-impact, targeted event, you can really give people an unforgettable experience, allowing them to truly understand your brand through all their senses.
- Internal Communications – So many people forget the importance of their internal communications. So often business owners and leaders focus outward and forget to communicate inward. This inward communication can be a make-or-break situation. Ensuring your team understands the brand message and feels aligned with your organization is truly a major key to success. And ultimately, can be the breaking point if not handled professionally.
- Corporate Social Responsibility – Studies show that consumer behavior is heavily influenced by a corporation’s contribution to the community. Through Corporate Social Responsibility, consumers can more easily determine if their values are aligned with those of the company. This can also have a great influence on your internal team members as well.
- Ambassador and influencer outreach – While many will argue that direct media hits might not be as effective with the growth in technology and the thousands of ways people consume information, we always argue that most media contacts and outlets also have social influence and securing that secondary coverage on the social pages closes that gap in the effectiveness. Additionally, many influencers have robust newsletter campaigns and other ways to reach their following. So as an agency, we are always looking at all the ways we can help our clients reach their audiences through paid or unpaid influencer partnerships, through their own communication channels like newsletters, and more.
- Thought leadership campaigns – Helping executives to become the leaders in their industry or industries. This happens through securing interviews, contributed articles, speaking engagements, building their own social profiles, making appearances, etc.
- Community Relations – The strategy for this can be through newsletters, email campaigns, text campaigns, etc. What tools are you utilizing to send out direct communication to your target audiences to keep them informed?
- Blogs – Many professionals have opted to create their own content through blogs. This is a great way to carry a consistent communication out to your audiences and a wonderful way to educate your community on topics that are important.
- Podcasts – Many professionals have developed their own podcasts allowing them to share in a longer form what they have going on. This is a fantastic tool for cross promoting with different professionals who offer different services but who share similar audiences. This can also drive thought leadership, serve as internal communications, community relations, and more.
So yeah… when people ask me if PR works, the answer is yes. But it does take a bigger commitment, more creativity, and true courage to get out there. If this feels a little overwhelming, no problem – we can do the work. It’s what we love.