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28 January 2017
How To Manage a Public Relations Campaign
It can often seem overwhelming, or even impossible.
A public relations (PR) campaign can be a daunting project to undertake. And if you're a small business, or even an individual, you may not know where to start or how to get the project off the ground.
With so many different moving pieces, a plethora of timelines and partnerships to consider, and the media to handle, it can be a tough task even for a trained professional.
However, like any big task, it is much easier to undertake if you divide the campaign into manageable segments. Follow this advice, and you will find your next PR campaign so much easier to manage.
1: Write a Press Release
Any effective PR campaign is going to require several press releases. It is up to you to dig up the information that will be relevant to the media, and do it whenever you have significant news to share. You will create too much "noise" if you overwhelm the media with too many updates, so plan them carefully, and make each one newsworthy.
When you have news about your company and products, write a press release and distribute it to the appropriate media outlets. Be sure you know how to write a press release because there is a big difference between advertising and public relations.
2. Create a Powerful Press Kit
The next step is the press kit, sometimes called the media kit.
If you are running a PR campaign, this can bean invaluable tool that you can use to promote your company. From trade shows to product launches, there are a number of good reasons you must create a press kit. Remember, though, that press kits should be inventive and eye-catching. A simple package or envelope is not going to cut the mustard, especially with so much clutter around.
Do something big and bold. See what your competitors are doing, and do something different. It's up to you to get the information out there in a way that is intriguing, and demands to be talked about.
3. Make Announcements On Your Blog
You should have a blog, be it corporate, employee, or personal. Now is the time to take advantage of it. By making your blog a regular part of your public relations campaign, you are consistently exposing your customers, and journalists, to the very latest news about your company. Do it in an informal, but professional, way and it will not seem like a lot of sales talk.
4. Work In Partnership With the Media
Some people believe that the media is there as a tool to be used for announcements. Make no mistake, the media is not obliged to give you any kind of coverage. If it's a slow news day, you may get lucky. Otherwise, you need to do something newsworthy.
Remember, PR gives you the ability to get free publicity. Knowing how to work with the media will help you come off as a pro even if it's your first media event.
So, reach out. Be accommodating and friendly, not pushy or demanding. Develop a long-lasting relationship with the media so you can start to develop contacts in the industry as well. By doing things this way, you will create partnerships that can help you get coverage long into the future.
5. Organise Media Events
PR is more than simply blitzing the media with your press releases. In fact, this can have the opposite effect. But organising media events can be an outstanding way to get multiple media outlets to come to you, and give you free exposure.
You must be creative when coming up with ideas. Just because you have a news conference doesn't mean the media will show up.
A groundbreaking ceremony with a local celebrity, or other prominent figure to address the crowd increases, your chances of getting publicity over the same event with just you and some employees sticking shovels in the ground. How can you make something that's news to you become news to everybody? Ask yourself "would I care about this story?" If not, how can you make it more interesting or, more importantly, more relevant?
If you're working with a children's charity to raise money, the media will be more likely to show up if you're hosting a fun event like snow skiing in summer for the children who the charity helps rather than you just filling out a check to hand over to the director of the charity.
6. Learn Crisis Management
Murphy's Law states that "what can go wrong, will go wrong." If you're not prepared to deal with the downs, your ups will get buried.
It's possible you'll have to deal with product recalls, lawsuits or even deaths of employees while on the job. The numerous possibilities of what can go wrong are something you have to be prepared for before they happen. You can't anticipate everything that can occur but you can learn effective crisis management to prepare you for the future.
But, if you are ready to pounce, you can quickly extinguish these fires, or even turn a negative into a positive. Be smart, think ahead, and get ready to turn your PR campaign into a success story.