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What is Public Relations and how I can benefit from it?
Recently, as many times before, I’ve read an article in a newspaper or an online magazine about another financial group behind a new startup or a new mind-blowing product from some medium-size company. I used to ask myself one question: How do they make it in these media?
I wanted to know what it has to do with public relations. Why do I need company communication and how does it actually function?
PR has one goal, which is to convey certain information in shortest possible time to the widest audience possible. People who sooner or later benefit from your product or service and use it should receive your message and appreciate it.
PR is, first of all, communication, and, therefore, it’s not a one-way road. Publicity is not complete without feedbacks which you get from the recipients of your message, because their response is also a valuable metrics of your success in reaching out to the minds and hearts of your target group.
It’s all about Public Relations
At the heart o fit, Publicity is the relationship between your company and the general public. In this case public relations are often represented by the media that are consumed by your potential customers.
Along with the external communication with the media Public Relations also refer to the internal communication within the company.
The purpose of public relations is to form an image of the company in the mind of the general public, as well as further support and enhancement of a company’s image and reputation. PR creates and develops these relationships in order to improve the external perception of the company.
PR activities help building transparency and enhancing the customers’ trust.
Public Relations facts and figures
- According to a survey by News Aktuell, most journalists (almost 90%) consider email as a very important channel for transmitting press releases.
- • Likewise, the colleagues from News Aktuell have found out that roughly 80% of journalists want to work with press releases which suit their topics or which they find particularly catchy.
4 mistakes you should avoid in Public Relations
Your press releases are too boring
Sometimes a mistake can slip, where you have a press release packed with a thousand words of text and lots of facts and figures but it does not tell any story. As in other channels, here its all about storytelling. In our external communication we should try to give journalists a quality material to work and not just facts with no specific message. Especially startuppers are prone to exaggerate facts pushing some small updates as if those were some mind-blowing innovations. Not a single serious journalist would consider an long-winded email worthy of their time, which means such an email will most likely end up in spam.
You fail to identify your target customer
If you are going you don’t know where, you’ll end up going in circles and won’t reach any destination. One of the biggest problems of many companies lies in the fact that they fail to convey their message to a particular group to whom their product or service is most relevant and interesting. The end-consumer stays unidentified, so the risk is growing not to know for sure whether the media channel that you use is at all relevant to your consumers. To put it simple: if you know your target group you know what media channel to use to communicate to your customer group — here we go, you have found the approach.
You spam journalists
No one likes spam, especially journalists who typically get tons of emails every day. Sending one follow-up email is okay, but don’t get hysterical or too pushy. Being too obtrusive is likely to result in your email being added to black list and next time it won’t even appear in the inbox. If your message is really relevant — journalist will get back to you. Moreover, you should take into account that not all social networks are suitable for connecting — while Linkedin or Twitter are always more business related, sites like Facebook or Instagram are more personal.
You hunt only the big fish
All of us have some famous journalists whom we want to tell our story. However, if we try to understand how the journalist work functions we understand that our person is the one with smaller advertisement halo, and these people are most probably work for smaller niche newspapers or magazines. A little trick here: often large media companies are looking exactly for such unknown journalists because they can smell unusual nonmainstream stories. Yours can be among them.
Placement of Publicity in terms of marketing
Public Relations in the entire marketing funnel
If we look at the entire marketing funnel, we can see that PR actions that you undertake are found between the top of the funnel and its middle.
Here the focus is placed on the measures that first of all attract the attention of the potential customers to your products and solutions, encouraging them to learn more about your company.
Immediate effect vs long-term effect
Public Relations is time-consuming and does not give immediate impact; unlike sales, does not generate strong impetus to purchase.
The impact of a single PR action is rather intermittent and little promising. What really can help you enhance your impact is step by step relationships and confidence building.
Categorization in Channel-Portfolio
When you create your brand portfolio by the channels and campaigns, then all the steps of publicity typically perform the function of nets, so to say, they affect customers like nets.
In conjunction with the nets thrown and spears aimed with precision this channel works at its best.
4 often underrated tips and hacks of public relations
Make your customers the part of your story
Most reporters and journalists do not look for companies to talk about. They are looking for unusual stories they want to tell the world about. And it is not about dry facts. How about your customers? Just think about it. Maybe you can allow your customer to tell a story about your company, to tell what you do or how your product/service has changes their lives.
Introduce yourself in the story
An interview or a profile in a newspaper or evening news is not the only way to public relations. There is more to it. Sometimes it requires a little more creativity. Find out what is mega popular now, that everyone is reading now and get yourself in the picture. It’s all about a proper moment when you can connect your company and your brand with the rest of the world. Go read a newspaper or a popular magazine, and look for the ways to capitalize on the latest news and trends.
Never underestimate relationships
The best way to guarantee a continuous media coverage about your product or service is to nurture real, actual, true media relationships with your customers. Pick up the telephone, knock on the doors, start connecting and building relations with true professionals. Yes, seldom but a telephone call doesn’t seem to pay off immediately, but in the long run it can be of a help when your name just flashes across some journalist’s memory.
Embrace national or international relations
The one who searches always finds. There is at least one way how you can intertwine your company in a bigger picture, in a bigger story. Always at this or that point in time there is a high profile story, or some international trend. Suggest your company for participation in it; keep pace with the world, especially when there is some unique opportunity lingering ahead!
Publicity comes down to these indicators
Being the quintessence of PR, media mentions is a measure of how many times your brand name has been mentioned on social media channels. If possible, do not confuse these mentions with social references. Mentions by the media have more weight and trust because they appear in the channels of serious trustworthy sources and publications whose credibility is beyond any doubt. Social mentions, however, often appear among fake news.
A campaign aiming to boost your brand recognition allows measuring the rise in the number of visitors and number of new visitors to your website best of all.
Quality is the key to the measurement of your references, especially in crisis situations. There are two different metrics that can gauge the quality of references: Sentiment Analysis is the process of computationally categorizing opinions expressed in a piece of text, especially in order to determine whether the writer's attitude towards a particular topic, product, etc. is positive, negative, or neutral. Prominence is measured by calculating how often a reference comes forward in an article, is this reference a part of the headline or is buried somewhere deep in the article.
Share of Voice
This very KPI compares one apple to the rest of apples, i.e. it shows the position of your company or brand as compared to your competition. With some analysis and strategy development to battle with competitors over the market share, Share of Voice measures your media presence or the strength of the effect of some media.
Press and public relations in a specific media channel is a fast operating tool, but it acquires a long-term effect when you convey a story in a bigger context, the story that is about your customer, you and your company. The position of Publicity in the marketing funnel is at top of the funnel, i.e. In the very beginning.
Starting with small and yet unknown media sources is a great opportunity to build relationships with journalists, build a positive image with responsible persons, as well as to gain new customers and, with some time, their trust.
And now: Get out from your social media page and pick up the phone and dial a journalist who works in the media source, — a magazine or a newspaper, — which suits your target group.
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