We work with a lot of brands, organizations, individual experts, and authors to help raise their profile using public relations (PR). PR can mean so many different things to so many people, and we have compiled some of the most common questions we get about PR.
Q: What is public relations?
A: We define public relations (PR) as any tactics that help you connect with your target audience – your public! Often people think it’s just media relations, but there is so much more to PR than that. Consider the following:
- Events/experiential marketing – think public stunts or brand activations
- Influencer relations – getting endorsed by influential people
- Media relations – you have something newsworthy to talk about
- Loyalty campaigns – reward frequent customers for their continued support
- Social media – build a digital community (this is where the lines get blurred more!)
Q: How is public relations different than marketing?
A: Marketing is actually the all-encompassing term. PR falls under marketing as part of a larger strategy.
Q: How do you connect with your audience in the best way?
A: One of the best things you can do is to build your entire PR strategy based on what your audience wants and needs. If you provide value and connect with them like you would a one-on-one relationship, you will find that your relationship with your audience only gets better over time.
Q: What if I don’t have a large budget?
A: You can build an incredible PR strategy at any budget. A small budget shouldn’t stop you from doing things right and doing them in the best way possible. You definitely need to adjust your expectations in terms of outcomes, but you can still make a huge impact either way.
Q: Can I run my own media relations campaign?
A: You can choose to DIY anything, however, be prepared for the time commitment it will take. Hiring a professional to execute your media relations for you also means you can take advantage of the media and influencer relationships they have built up over time.
We always like to use the mechanic example. Most people will choose to pay to have a mechanic service their car. They could do research and watch YouTube videos to help guide them through it, but it’s just easier to hire a pro to get it done more efficiently.
Q: How do you decide what media to work with?
A: We maintain relationships with media at different outlets and who cover various topics. When we start a new media campaign, we always start by looking at our existing contacts, then we can further refine or expand our list from there.
The first step in finalizing a media list is to conduct a media audit. You need to figure out what topics are being covered in your industry and who is writing about them. This is generally a good place to start if you don’t have existing media or influencer relationships.
We avoid a “blanket” strategy at all costs. A blanket strategy is where you just blindly send a generic pitch to a mass media list regardless of who they are and what topics they cover. This is a quick way to get your pitch deleted, and to burn any future relationship with that contact and potentially the outlet. Keep in mind that reporters often sit next to each other in a newsroom – and they talk.
Q: Can we only focus on influencers with larger communities?
A: It is absolutely up to you if you only want to focus on large community influencers, however, you may be missing out on opportunities to reach your audience. We prefer to take a tiered approach to all media and influencer strategies. Remember that a large following doesn’t necessarily translate into higher awareness. You want to look for quality engagement. An influencer with 3,000 followers on Instagram could potentially get you better results than one with 30,000. It’s a matter of knowing your audience, your industry, and the influencers within your focus.
If you’re looking to get the word out about your business, including public relations as part of your overall marketing strategy is a viable way to do that. A good PR campaign can do great things for your business to raise your profile and build credibility with your audience which allows your brand to stand out.
Would you like to add a PR strategy but you’re not sure how to get started, or how it fits within your overall marketing program, give us a call and we can help you!