Public relations and marketing aren’t exactly the same thing, though the two do go hand in hand. While marketing is used to make the public aware of your products and services, public relations techniques are used to help the public gain a strong awareness of the company’s presence and image. The good news is that you don’t need to create a separate budget to run a good public relations campaign. You just need to be creative about the methods you use to reach the public.
Determine Your Ultimate Objectives
You need to start by having a clear understanding of your goals for your public relations plan. Your goal is not to simply advertise your presence. You need to establish yourself as an expert in your field, develop and reinforce your brand, and create a positive perception of your company and what it does in the public. While your public relations plan will definitely help you to find leads and make sales, this shouldn’t be your only goal.
Choose Your Plan Elements
What methods will you use to implement your public relations plan? There are several you can use to ensure the public gets a firm grasp on your message. Press releases are fantastic for reaching a broad audience, as are press conferences, radio interviews, seminars, and the simple act of sponsoring an event.
Each element of your plan should have an objective. Let’s say you want to write a press release. What will be the purpose of the press release? In what time-frame should you expect to see those results? Implement each part of your plan, one at a time, and measure your successes (or figure out what changes need to be made).
The Action Plan
Knowing what you will do and when is great, but now you’ll need to delegate some of the work to others within your organization. Create an action plan that clearly outlines who will write the press releases, who will edit them, who will distribute them, and who will field inquiries once those press releases start generating interest in what you do. Outline each step, from start to finish, and decide who will be responsible for each task. There should never be a doubt as to who should field a call or when a deadline is.
Reviewing and Changing Your Plan
After the first phases of your public relations plan are released, gather everyone involved and go over the process. What things need to be changed? What worked well? What didn’t work at all? Did you get the response you hoped for? If not, what could you do differently if you were to run this campaign again? Allow everyone who was part of the process to share what he thought did or did not work. The people on the front lines of implementation will be sure to have ideas.
Your public relations plan will help you to create positive buzz while controlling negative attention, if you’ve received some. Take your time and make sure you have strong goals and objectives and you’ll soon find your public relations and marketing teams working hand in hand.
About the Author: Kit Soard is a public relations coordinator who loves working to improve company brands. She does everything from establishing separate business phone numbers for media inquiries to establishing strong marketing and content creation teams. Public relations is key to success!