Public relations (PR) can be a tricky part of your business. Some people see it as similar to marketing or advertising and thus might leave it to their marketing team. But it’s an entirely different thing. Public relations or PR involves maintaining and creating a good image of your company or business to the public. Rather than directly telling or convincing consumers to buy your product, as in marketing, through PR, you’re assuring them that your company can be trusted. In some cases, PR is essential for damage control or maintaining a good reputation for your company.
Just like marketing, though, it doesn’t come easy. Like with marketing, you need to keep up with plenty of trends that can change at a moment’s notice, and you’ll need to know what to say so that your words don’t get misconstrued or used against your company. Here are four ways you can improve your PR strategy and foster an overall better relationship between the public and your company.
Hire a PR Agency
An easy to improve any PR is by hiring a PR agency to do it for you. Agents are professionals who know what they’re doing and can assure you a certain level of quality and efficiency, depending on the agency. If you’re not too eager to dip your own toes into creating a PR campaign, you can easily delegate this task to someone else. With a PR agency, you’ll have the assurance that you’re working with professionals who’ve done this before and have had many successes.
When finding an agency, it’s best to find one that has worked with a similar business or industry before and, therefore, has more experience working with your specific niche and problems. For example, you must hire a PR agency for technology startups to promote your tech-based products or services. That way, you can reach the right audience and establish your brand. Finding an agency that works for your specific industry ensures that you get the most out of your money and get the assistance that you need.
Take Advantage of Social Media and Other Platforms
Most PR is usually done at press conferences or issued via public statements, but expanding to other platforms, especially online, can help disseminate your message to even more people and make sure that it’s received loud and clear. Nowadays, most companies post their PR statements on their own social media accounts to get the word out as fast as possible.
If you don’t already, it’s best to have an active social media presence so that you can gauge your audience’s reaction and engagement to your posts and statements. Think of it as finding different media outlets or channels to spread your message. Social media can be a very effective tool, especially when it comes to connecting to the public.
Connect With Your Audience
Speaking of connecting to the public, you want all your PR statements to communicate with the audience at a much deeper level. If something sounds too “written out,” robotic, or manufactured, your audience is less likely to listen and to trust you. You want to create compelling content that resonates with your chosen audience, not something they can forget after a few hours.
If you can, make a story out of it! Stories are great ways to connect to your audience and ‘humanize’ your content for a more human audience. Audiences respond well to things they can relate to and understand better. Thus, it pays to speak in the language that most audiences can understand and talk like a part of your audience. How well you connect to your audience can really make the difference in whether a PR campaign succeeds or not.
The whole point of a PR campaign is to make your company look good, but it won’t do well for you to completely gloss over any existing issues in your company. Sometimes, you might get a PR crisis on your hands, and no amount of highlighting or sugarcoating is going to hide it. In these cases, it’s best to own up to your mistakes and be entirely upfront with your audience. The last thing you want to do is be dishonest or deny anything when the evidence is staring you right in the face.
Your audience will appreciate a candid response more than one that’s obviously tailored to sound like one long excuse. Don’t be afraid to own up to your mistakes but as much as possible, assure your audience that you’ll improve upon it or prevent it from happening again. It helps to be direct and get straight to the point rather than tiptoeing around it or spouting excuses.
Effective PR is all about knowing your audience and practice, practice, practice. As long as you can deliver your message and stance as clearly and succinctly as possible, your PR campaign can be a resounding success. Practicing how to deliver it or honing your writing skills can also help get your message across as clearly and understandably as possible. With just enough practice, there’s no amount of damage a little PR can’t fix.