Public Relations: Breaking Down the Mystery, Part II, How to Choose the Right Public Relations Team
In Part I of Public Relations: Breaking down the Mystery, we looked at the basic steps of Public Relations services and how they could add value to your business. In Part II we’ll provide guidelines for how to choose the best Public Relations company and what you should expect in working with professionals.
Your success begins when the right people hear the right things about who you are and what you offer. Whether you’re launching a new product, managing a crisis or promoting your community involvement, Public Relations activities can help you achieve your goals. This is why the team you choose to work with should understand your business, its challenges, bigger company goals and also your competition.
Savvy Public Relations professionals will first meet with you to discover what’s going on in your company, what you’d like to accomplish, what challenges you face and what resources are available. Once they’ve learned more about your company, assessed the situation and asked key questions, they are better able to craft a custom strategy for your business. Depending on the urgency of your needs and your particular situation the timeframe for this process is scaled.
Public Relations activities should offer communication, messaging and solutions in an inspiring and easy to understand way. Having people talk about your business is not enough; they need to utilize your services. Your message is what inspires this. It can’t simply be what you want people to do, it needs to be why people need you, why you are unique and better than competitors, how you make their lives better, or why your story is important. Your customers have a need and you have a solution.
Other aspects to consider in choosing the right Public Relations team is how they work with your marketing and communication elements such as, your website, collateral and advertising plan, and how they intend to track results. Why? Most conversations about your business should have the same intent and message across business channels. (Crisis communications are an exception.) This is why it’s important for your organization to have foundational tools like a logo, approved images and video, branding guidelines, key messages and a media kit. These tools are ideal elements to build upon and unite your story, and a seasoned Public Relations professional will be able to use these to your advantage.
Reporting is vital because at the end of the day, you need two things: measurement toward goal achievement and results. That’s why reporting is critical in a public relations strategy. You need to see which message resonated, with who, when, and through what type of outreach. There are various ways to measure activities and the best ones are those agreed upon between the client and their Public Relations team.
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