Leaving reputation to chance is how many public figures, organizations, and corporations land in trouble. Just like people in everyday life, in spite of the endless possibilities for chaos, we tend to believe “it won’t happen to us.” And this is often true – until it’s not. What then?
A public relations specialist’s job ensures reputation is managed and that the perceptions people hold of a particular brand are based on the messages deliberately put forward. But how is this achieved?
Set SMART Goals
Set SMART goals for your PR campaigns before you even begin. SMART PR goals are specific, measurable, achievable, realistic, and timed. This is an important step before going out on a limb and calling journalists, writing up press releases, or pouring money into campaigns. This also means evaluating where the brand currently stands, to know where it can and needs to go.
Maintain a Focus on Target Customers
In an effort to please clients, it can become tempting to tailor campaigns around clients’ needs. However, specialists should always tailor campaigns around the needs and desires of the target market. The client may build and provide the service, but it’s the customer who pays for it and contributes to revenue in the long-run. As a result, campaigns should revolve around what it takes to please the audience, and less so the client.
Create Winning Strategy
Once specialists set SMART goals and hone in on the needs of the target market, it’s time to actually create winning strategies. At this point, clients should consider the resources they can dedicate to a strategy. Strategies become hindered by budget, time constraints, and even the talent pool available. Keep these factors in mind.
Merge with Marketing Efforts
Recently, many PR firms began providing marketing services to create a one-stop shop for clients. This is no accident. PR and marketing may differ, but they go hand in hand. And there’s no better way to ensure synergy than keeping it in-house and managed by one team. This isn’t necessary but ensures developed PR campaigns blend well with what the marketing team generates.
Birds of a feather flock together, and when you’re trying to break into particular markets, it’s a good idea to find other birds to soar with. This means building a network of connections that can help boost your brand, provide greater credibility, and connect you with key gatekeepers in the industry. These could include government officials, celebrities, journalists, or even other brands that complement the clients.
Find Your Edge
In spite of the saturation in the market, creativity still goes a long way. Craft an interesting story, or find an innovative way to bring the “same old same old” to the masses. This may involve a hilarious ad with a high-profile celebrity doing something pretty routine, or more elaborate PR stunts. However, beware of the controversy and bad publicity that can follow a badly thought out PR campaign.
Assess your Campaign
What’s the point of setting SMART goals if you don’t assess them at the end? None really. At the end of a campaign, specialists must measure the results to determine what the campaign achieved and what it did not. This teaches how to tweak future campaigns for even better results.