Get in the Game and Score Big with Public Relations
With the Super Bowl approaching, it’s only natural to incorporate a few football references with important topics like public relations. Marketing has become a crowded field with many different disciplines. One of the oldest, tried and true ones is public relations. It’s also one that businesses find to be among the most challenging to tackle. Many mistakenly pass the ball to their internal marketing directors or outsource it to marketing agencies with no public relations expertise. Digital agencies will claim to do public relations, but this is typically limited to sending press releases on the wire a s part of their SEO strateg. This is not media relations. In these instances, there is typically no game plan. PR is too important for your business to fumble. Let’s huddle up on what it is, and how to get started so you can get off the sidelines and score some touchdowns for your company.
What is Public Relations?
Public relations is the communications process that builds a relationship between your business and the public. Essentially, this is your public image and the effort to make it a positive one. Whereas marketing is focused on driving sales, public relations is focused on building brand awareness and trust. They are indeed connected. To revisit the football analogy: When Taylor Swift attends a Chiefs game to cheer on Travis Kelce, viewership increases (the NFL uses this as a marketing tool to drive ad sales). Media coverage of Taylor’s presence at the games is on fire (that’s the public relations part). Everything your business does that is public facing can be considered PR.
- Social media
- Brand reputation
- Community relations
- Influencer marketing
- Media relations
- Social Impact
- Thought leadership
- Brand activations
- Crisis communications
- Employee communications
- Event sponsorships
Here, we focus on media relations as our core public relations activity.
Why Does Media Relations Matter?
Media relations is a significant component of PR. This is working with the press to inform the public about your news, expertise, services, product, etc. There are many advantages of securing press coverage for your business, whether it’s online, print, or broadcast media. Earned media carries the credibility of third-party coverage that paid advertising typically cannot achieve. It allows you to control the message. News stories typically have linkbacks to your website, an important aspect of enhancing organic SEO. The media can help raise awareness of your business and offerings. You can also repurpose and leverage media coverage on your social media, website, and in other marketing materials. And we all love bragging rights.
Before you initiate public relations, devote time and thought to your strategy, messaging, and target audience. Consider how your customers are most likely to hear about you and what kind of messaging and visuals will resonate. You’ll need to identify who will lead your media relations efforts. This requires someone with strong communications and pitching skillscoupled with media relationships. Your company may choose to hire this position internally or outsource it to an agency partner like Redhead Marketing & PR…or some combination of the two. Be sure to designate a company spokesperson and perhaps engage a professional to media train this individual.
Now that you’re committed to raising brand awareness through the press, it’s time to develop your newsworthy story angles and connect with editors and reporters likely to be interested in covering your business. This can be done through a variety of avenues such as press release distributions, media events, personalized pitches to reporters, and press conferences. The nature of your business will dictate how to best communicate with the media. Just as the football season doesn’t begin with the Super Bowl, public relations takes time to build. A consistent and strategic approach will more than likely lead to many touchdowns.
Ok, good pep talk?
If you’re in need of a quarterback for your PR efforts, please feel free to reach out. We’d love to explore how we can take you to the end zone.