The press can either be your best friend or your worst enemy. As any public relations expert will tell you, PR helps the public understand your company, its products and/or services, and creates a strong image of your brand to the outside world. Whether you take care of the PR efforts for your company yourself or you’re looking for an outside perspective to handle these efforts, we have put together the basics of public relations below as a guide.
It’s important to remember that PR campaigns are communications activities that enhance visibility, sculpt the public’s perception and can affect change. These activities create a public image for businesses, non-profit organizations, and individuals from rock stars and professional athletes to religious leaders and presidents.
The essence of public relations is to inform, and persuade, the public using the right media outlets such as newspapers, magazines, television, and radio or social media via the web. Whatever media is used, the PR professional needs to convince that outlet that they, or their company, has a good story to tell, or a product to share. Whether you’re proactive, reactive, a large company or a small business, everyone uses the same tools to get their message out. Here are some tried-and-true communications tools to keep in your PR toolbox:
- Press releases and fact sheets – These are great materials to use to inform people. You can also hold press conferences and town hall meetings.
- Speeches, letters to the editor, and guest columns – These pieces are used to persuade and inspire people and can be posted in local and national newspapers. You can also book appearances on local and national radio and TV talk shows.
- Multimedia campaigns – Using accumulated photos, video clips, charts and blogs, you can conduct these types of campaigns. You can also use social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat to get your message out in short form.
As a publicist, you have to earn the respect of the media in order to gain premium press exposure. You need to know the right people in the right places and utilize these connections to successfully earn media spots rather than paying for them.
If you’ve never done this sort of thing, it might seem scary to contact the editor of the newspaper or to give a speech in front of the Chamber of Commerce. Luckily, our PR experts have been tasked with these efforts before and have strong backgrounds within the public relations field. Whether you need help with media planning, writing a press release or coming up with an entire PR campaign, Design Thinking can help you. Contact us today to begin turning the press into your best friend rather than your worst enemy.