The truth is that when it comes to sharing the secrets behind PR, there aren’t any.
Before I go on, let me make it clear, those working in the profession are specialists and they spend years training but there is no need for a scholarship at Hogwarts.
As an industry, PR suffers from a reputation crisis. Many businesses have been let down by false promises, hidden costs and wasted budgets. They have been offered the earth and when that doesn’t materialise they are left with a document full of excuses.
Unfortunately, this has put many companies off, and rightly so, but the good news is that this doesn’t have to be the case.
Starting at the beginning
All businesses can benefit from PR. This isn’t a statement, it’s a fact.
Whatever the industry or product, there can be a clear rationale made for engaging with staff, customers and / or suppliers. Furthermore, it is really important that companies share their values, approach and where possible, the reason for their existence.
If people are to part with their hard earned money, they want to better understand where their purchases come from. This isn’t necessarily about food miles, but more about the philosophy of an organisation and what it stands for.
Setting a strategy
Clearly, not every business is the same, and the objectives for putting a communications strategy in place will be different. This is one of the benefits of PR; it can be shaped around any organisation whether business to business, business to consumer or third sector.
The other thing to consider is who will be involved in developing the strategy and delivering it. There needs to be clear ownership and input. PR isn’t something that will just happen, it needs to be managed and driven.
A seat around the boardroom table
PR needs to take a seat around the boardroom table. There is no point in making the investment – of time or resource – if putting a strategy into practice is not going to be taken seriously. If PR remains a nice to have then it simply won’t work.
Finding those within the business that have a natural affinity or passion for communication will take some of the pressure off. Giving these individuals additional responsibility and set performance indicators to work towards will keep PR on the agenda.
Discussing the tactics that have worked and those that haven’t with the senior management team will reinforce the importance of PR and what it can deliver.
Sharing the excitement
As a business function, when PR works well, it is difficult for people not to notice. It may be coverage in a newspaper, on the radio or even TV. It could be a newsletter, a blog, social media posts or an internal communication programme.
Whatever the objective, getting excited by the results that can be achieved through PR is fundamental to its success. A further benefit is that once one element of the plan is working, it can evolve and additional actions can be added.
Not enough time in the day
It’s easy to default to this assumption. There just simply isn’t enough time in the day to do everything that is required and PR isn’t a priority.
Well, it should be.
How a company communicates will influence the behaviour of its customers. There are few other specialisms that can make this kind of impact. PR is just as important as the quality of a product or service, which should ensure that it remains on the agenda.
When organisations recognise the real value of PR it can be transformative and that is why setting aside the time is so important.
Relying on the specialists
For those that really don’t have the time and cannot find any available resource within the business, the alternative is to turn to the specialists.
As a Wakefield based PR agency we work with businesses of all sizes. As well as delivering a year-round PR, communications and content strategy for our clients, we also deliver training. This gives smaller organisations the tactics, tools and techniques they need to put the theory into practice.
For those that want to explore PR, content marketing and social media further, please do give us a call or email.