How can you convince a company, brand, or person who has never explored any sort of PR effort that PR is something they in fact DO sincerely need? I think it is important to support any argument, especially one of the necessity of Public Relations, with facts! So… what are the facts? The facts are that marketing people clearly see the incredible value of PR.
Senior level marketers surveyed in 2005 by the Council of Public Relations Firms and Advertising Age said they perceive public relations to be most valuable in supporting product marketing and product launches.
Marketing executives surveyed that same year by PR Week were asked to compare the effectiveness of public relations to that of advertising and direct marketing for specific tasks. From the perspective of these executives, public relations is the most effective marketing discipline for launching a new product or service, building awareness, generating word of mouth, and building brand reputation.
Another important factor in explaining the value of our industry, is continually going BACK TO THE BASICS. (And let’s be honest, it’s always good to brush up on our ABC’s of PR so we don’t loose track in all the advertising/media/social web/etc, am I right?) New comers to public relations need to understand that it is much more than a publicity or advertising effort alone. So, the answer is to go back to the basics. In Glen Broom‘s “Effective Public Relations” he highlights the following areas to be implemented (not including research and other areas of preparation) as points of focus for a successful Public Relations effort.
- Publicity: This is the most visible part of public relations. PR people must make judgments to providing the media with the information that they deem to be newsworthy.
- Advertising: Provides a more control over content and placement than publicity does. PR can sometimes join forces with advertising department to promote through multiple mediums including but not limited to print, radio, TV, and internet.
- Press Agentry: Public notice and attention (not necessarily public understanding). To a certain extent, any press is good press, and part of a successful PR plan would be to focus on press agentry.
- Social Media: Creating a social web presence is now key to almost any successful public relations effort. Gaining and online recognizable brand will allow you to connect to your more common or average customers. It will also provide the unique opportunity to engage in true 2 way communication with you audiences while learning the industry trends and consumer habits.
- Internal Relations:Keeping employees informed and motivated and promoting the culture and style of the company/brand. Internal newsletters are a good example of how to promote positive communication within an organization so that everyone is participating in effective communication.
- Public Affairs:Building and maintaining relationship with target publics who influence public policy. Relationships could be built through endorsements/interviews/etc with the appropriate political figures.
- Issues Management: Identifying issues early on with potential impact on your brand and forming a strategic response designed to capitalize on the consequences. The PR responsibility is to coach your company/brand spokesperson to respond to these potential problems before they become issues.
- Business Development: Focusing on working to locate new development opportunities for the company/brand.