Public relations is all about communications. I know, sounds like a no brainer but there are far too many ‘professionals’ out there that talk the talk but don’t walk the walk.
Anyone promised to reply to you by a certain time and not followed through? How telling you they’d send the information you requested on Monday and it’s Wednesday and you still haven’t received it. Get the picture? These simple examples are at the core of what communication is all about. And public relations is no different.
Everything a PR specialist does entails communicating a message to a public, whether that public is your organization’s current market, potential market, investors, employees, or the general public as a whole. What gives variety to the job is the various tools you can use – some mundane and some more challenging.
So let’s dig in an review a few weapons in the PR consultant’s arsenal…
The Press Release
One of the more prosaic tools you will find yourself using is the press release, also referred to as a news release. You will use this tool when your client is launching a new product, the CEO will be the keynote speaker at a major event, the appointment of one of your client’s principles to a high-level board or commission, or where your company stands on a controversial issue.
The press conference (or news conference) is a little more exciting and stressful, but entails a great deal of planning. If not well-organized, you can have a disaster on your hands with the media there to take notes on your failure. The reasons for holding a press conference are similar to those for a press release, but considerably more extreme, such as a product recall, a crisis, or the launching of a new product that will revolutionize how we live.
If your client offers a product or service that is of interest to the general population, writing feature articles for the local papers, magazines, or blogs and websites can be a great way to encourage the public to look to you or your client as an expert in a field, building credibility.
You will have moments, however, when your message is not something that an editor would consider newsworthy, yet you must get it out immediately and noticeably. In that case, you may have to break down and buy advertising on television, radio, or print media. Of course, this would be handled by your marketing department or agency, but will require your oversight to
Printed Marketing Materials
Printed marketing materials include brochures, flyers, slicks, etc. Again, this falls under the purview of the marketing department, but it is up to the PR professional to make sure the proper
If you want to establish your organization or client as a subject matter expert in a given field, another great way to accomplish this is to offer yourself or a principal of your client as a speaker for various groups. Meeting planners are always looking for good speakers, so if you or someone in your client’s company has a talent for public speaking then that is a good tool to take advantage of.
These are some of the more common techniques used in public relations communications. You will also find the internet, a medium that is dramatically changing the way we do business, a very useful tool. Whichever means you use to communication your message, by making sure it is appropriate for the message and systematically planned and carried out, you can ensure that your message will be effectively communicated and remembered by your public.