Public Relations, or PR, is a vital part of any organisation’s marketing and communications strategy, and getting it right will secure a great deal of free and positive exposure for a product or service.
The purpose of PR
The holy grail of good PR is getting to a point where trusted news providers, influencers and referrers are ready to talk freely and in good terms about your offer, promoting it without fees and building up awareness, interest and trust in what you provide.
Getting a PR strategy in place
But how do you get to this point? Some legendary PRs say that ‘all publicity is good publicity’ but most firms won’t want to risk gaining a bad reputation. What are the tactics needed to get good content into the press, and what makes a story newsworthy and ready to stand out for the right reasons?
The importance of a seasoned PR firm
This is where PR professionals come in. The reality is that news publishers and sharers of content are bombarded with press releases every day. Many of them will only ever be skimmed, and competition is hugely fierce – especially without a genuinely newsworthy angle that the publication knows will resonate with its audience.
A good PR agency will know exactly what strategies to employ to gain positive exposure for a firm, its products and its services. They will be able to advise on proactive and reactive strategies alike, and know exactly what types of events, launches, promotions, announcements and campaigns to promote and share to gain credible, high value exposure.
What’s more, a good PR agency will be able to evidence their success through a breakdown of press coverage by circulation and market sector and AVE – an equivalent advertising measure which explains how much a firm would have needed to pay in commercial advertising spend in order to secure the same amount of column inches or air time. Sales leads and traffic to website can even be tracked via Google Analytics. All of these are useful measures of exposure and value, and sets the scene for success – identifying where things are working well and where other opportunities exist.
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Typical tactics that your PR provider might employ
Depending on your objectives, a PR agency will be able to put together a programme of activity for you with a defined outcome that meets your objectives. They might for example, arrange for you to attend with branded products at a relevant trade show. They might suggest a promotional campaign which hits the headlines in your target audience’s media. An event or launch party might be organised, with influencers and important customers invited to attend. Press releases will be prepared and media relations will be worked, garnering you maximum publicity and coverage for your product, service, organisation or campaign.
PR professionals have superb communications skills, contacts and tools of the trade up their sleeves, and you will find them savvy operators who are filled with creative ideas for catching customer attention in a crowded marketplace. If you are serious about maximising returns from your marketing and communications budget, then it is well worth considering taking on the services of a good and reputable PR service provider, to maximise your investment, ensure a measurable return, and help to build your brand and extend your reach in your target audience.
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