If you’re thinking about communicating with your customers or promoting your business then you need a PR strategy. Strategic PR is all about talking with the people who matter to you, engaging with them, painting your brand picture and creating relationships – all to achieve your commercial objectives.
PR Agency Polymedia PR advise that every campaign should have a clear strategy and respond directly to the goals of your business. These will be different for each organisation so there is no one-size-fits-all approach – you need a bespoke approach to make an impact. You may be looking to increase sales, launch a new service or product, or be making a change in the business such as growth into new markets, or preparation for the exit of a founder. Sometimes it’s to prepare for or manage a crisis.
Here are some reasons why every business needs a PR strategy
- Find out what your key messages are
Developing your key messages should be one of the first steps in your PR strategy. Key messages are the underlying points you want your target audience to hear and understand through your PR activities. A public relations strategy will help provide clarity on these so you can use them across your PR and marketing efforts.
- Get your messages to the right audience
A good PR strategy will help you to get the right messages to the right audiences and ensure your messages will make the most impact. Without finding your target audience your message will not be received by the right people and your PR activities will not be very successful.
- Target the right media
A PR strategy is not about sending press releases out into the void. In order for your key messages to reach your target audience, you’ll need to gain media coverage in the most appropriate outlets. The best publications are the ones that your target audience reads. Be sure you research the industries your company, products, or services apply to before you set your media targets – and make sure you find the most relevant person at each publication to send your press releases to.
- To measure your success
If you don’t have a PR strategy it will be harder to measure the success of your PR activities. A strategy will help you to create measurable data and determine if you achieved your goal. For example if your goal was to increase sales you will need to constantly measure how many sales you received while implementing your strategy.
If you haven’t already realised the benefits of a PR Strategy, here are some of the top ones:
Having a PR strategy in place offers a way to get the attention of your target audience, build brand awareness and create a positive image of your brand. Editorial coverage in newspapers or articles, word of mouth and customer testimonials is a great cost-effective way to gain media exposure and connect with your audience.
Prepare for and manage a crisis
A good PR strategy isn’t just about generating positive news coverage involving your company. It’s also about avoiding and being prepared to handle bad publicity. When the unexpected happens, it requires quick-thinking, the ability to challenge facts and understand how people – including your employees, your customers, the media, investors and other stakeholders – are likely to react to the issue in hand. Effective crisis planning also helps teams identify potential issues and map out the communication, and information you’ll need to deal with them. If your business hasn’t got a crisis plan, it’s more likely to suffer badly when things do go wrong.
Customers who trust you
PR strategies are opportunities for your target market to get to know your brand and offer a lot more value than an advertisement alone. Consumers today are too savvy and can spot false or misleading sales strategies from a mile away. Establishing the right public image and communicating it via media can help customers who already (or don’t yet) have a positive sense of your brand, that will keep them engaged.
Consistent brand messaging and brand voice through your website, blogs and social media presence is essential for increasing your credibility. Sometimes a media pitch isn’t the way to go for a certain story, so a PR strategy can help you to consistently navigate to the right channels and the audience you should target.
Only with a clear understanding of what you need to say, and who you want to say it to, can you go on to communicate with maximum impact. A good PR strategy considers every aspect of communicating a message in the best possible way and helps to sell, influence and protect your brand while raising its profile.