Too often when people say public relations they mean media relations. Dealing with the media is a big part of our job to be sure. We need to build relationships with editors, reporters, broadcasters and bloggers over time in order to earn positive publicity for our clients.
But there is a great deal more to our jobs than just news releases, pitches and photo ops. Here are three great PR tactics we use all the time for clients here in Winnipeg, Manitoba and across North America.
1. Develop great content
“Content is king” may have become a common phrase during the Internet age, but the principal has been the same for a long time. And for the last century or so it’s been the job of public relations people to develop that content.
Newsletters – in hard copy and email – are still excellent ways to communicate to your core audience whether they are consumers, suppliers or employees. Keep them lively with stories that involve real people. Even if you’re writing for a highly technical or specialized audience, they’ll be more engaged if they can relate to your material on a personal level. Share the content on your website too so it’s searchable and gives you some added SEO benefits.
We have now added a new tool for our clients with the Sharpspring content marketing platform, which gives us unparalleled web analytics and intelligence along with email marketing automation. This helps your content work harder by becoming one part of an ongoing online engagement strategy.
2. Speaking engagements
Our clients are frequently experts in their field so we often recommend they get out and demonstrate that expertise in front of live audiences. Over the years, we have arranged for our clients to speak at conferences, universities and colleges, industry associations and to chambers of commerce or other business groups. We seek out opportunities that put our clients in front of the right audiences and then we help develop the words and pictures that put some zing in the presentation. We have even set up virtual presentations via Skype when our speakers can’t be there in person.
3. Use paid media
The power of earned media is unmistakable. When a media outlet tells your story, it’s far more credible and powerful than just about any ad. But advertising or paid media plays a part in PR too. Advertising is an excellent way to support earned media campaigns. If you’re out to change behaviour or opinions on a particular issue, then you should probably be looking at using paid media.
Today, the world of paid and earned media (advertising and media relations) are colliding. Native advertising networks allow us to amplify the reach of the content we develop. Search ads allow us to use hone in on keywords. And so-called traditional media still rule the roost when it comes to shear audience size and reach.