Public Relations 101

What Is PR Anyway?

Public Relations is simple: it’s communicating what makes your firm unique—your people, your organization’s skills and talents, your values—to your most important audiences. All successful public relations programs are strategic, designed to help your organization achieve its most important short- and long-term goals.

A PR program can be comprised of any of a number of communication approaches, including publicity, public speaking, social media, website integration, special events, and crisis communication. Each program is unique, and should utilize a combination of approaches that best meet your organization’s individual needs.

What Can It Do For You?

What would an article in the Wall Street Journal or a piece on NPR mean to your organization? What about a feature story in your industry bible, or a magazine covering an industry you serve? What about an ongoing series of articles and stories in key media?

There is no more powerful or cost-effective way to reach your most important audiences. A single article in a business or industry publication can reach tens of thousands—sometimes hundreds of thousands—of prospective clients, customers, and strategic partners. An ongoing program can reach millions. A speaking opportunity before industry leaders can put you face-to-face with prospects who are hungry to hear what you have to say. A digital program consisting of social media and web integration can reach thousands more.

But reaching large numbers of key audiences is just one part of PR. A strategic public relations program will raise your organization’s profile throughout your industry and the industry’s you serve. It will demonstrate what makes you unique and indispensable to prospective clients, customers, and partners. And it can position your organization as an industry leader. Most importantly, it can help you meet your most vital business goals.

How Do You Know It’s Working?

Public relations is a powerful tool, and it’s easy to see when it’s working. The buzz that is generated throughout your industry and the industries you serve will provide the initial feedback. Beyond the buzz, organizations generally experience an increase in new business opportunities soon after initiating a strategic public relations program. There are a number of metrics that can be applied to determine whether a program is working and what elements of the program are working best. At the beginning of any program, I establish a plan to measure the program’s results and determine whether it is providing sufficient return on your investment.

Elements Of A Public Relations Campaign

Every program is unique, and must be built around your organization’s exclusive goals and requirements. Successful public relations never happens haphazardly—rather, it is always strategic. Every element of the program has a purpose, and it must complement all other elements.

There are a number of elements that can go into a program, including:

  • Publicity
  • Public Speaking
  • Social Media
  • Website Integration and Copywriting
  • Cause-Related Marketing
  • Product/Company Launches
  • Trade Show/Conference Planning and Support
  • Crisis Management

Few public relations programs will utilize all of these public relations elements. A results-oriented program will incorporate those that best address your organization’s unique communications needs.

“Bill’s program has re-energized Walker’s publicity efforts. His extraordinary knowledge of parking has been invaluable in promoting new business development and helping us maintain a high profile.”

~ Sr. Vice President, Walker Parking Consultants

Working With Bill