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With 20 years of PR experience to my credit, I’ve become good at spotting common mistakes among well-meaning customers looking for wider publicity. The executives come PR firms in search of a magic bullet that will expose them. Little do they know that without these crucial steps, even the most seasoned PR veteran won’t be able to launch their strategy.
What is the common mistake you might ask? Misled customers did not take the time to establish clear message for their offerings. As simple as that. They also lack clear narrative pathways for internal stakeholders such as founders and senior executives.
While it’s the PR team’s job to refine the messaging and share it with the masses, it’s ultimately the client’s job to have a clear direction. They must explain why they deserve the attention of the press. Clients should have an idea of the gaps they are filling in their respective industries and what they really want to achieve with a PR team.
If you’re thinking of getting into a PR strategy but you’re struggling to identify those building blocks, here are three simple steps that will save you time and money.
Related: 4 guiding principles for building and deploying an excellent public relations strategy
Step 1: Establish your North Star
Every endeavor must have a clear North Star. This is the first question any PR firm worth their salt will ask you to articulate when trying to engage them. When engaging this north star on paper, be realistic with your goals. Ending world hunger is a noble quest, but one that will ring false in the eyes of journalists. What are the attributes of your business that make it well equipped to cut corners? global macro problem? List them carefully and think about the attributes you have that no one else has. These can include operating in a certain region, doing something with fewer resources, or marrying two disciplines. After establishing these unique attributes, align your goals with them. Return to your North Star using traits that only you can offer in the market.
Step 2: Establish narrative pathways for media-facing stakeholders
Every organization has a story to tell, but not everyone in this organization is best equipped to say so. Once you’ve established what your larger goals are, you need to figure out who in the organization is best equipped to talk about them. Your CMO may come alive when talking about creative activities within the company, but he may lose his audience when talking about numbers. And your VP of Marketing might like to delve into the finer details of advertising strategies, but they can get caught up in the details and get off on unrelated tangents in the middle of the conversation. Tag each person within the organization that you would like to have a voice in the press. Once these names are noted, establish a narrative path for each that will help guide them while representing your business. Providing stakeholders with opportunities to talk about areas they are passionate about will make interviews more authentic and effective. This will make them authorities in their space and encourage journalists to proactively contact them in search of their expertise.
Related: 4 tips for launching your first successful PR campaign
Step 3: Create a Branded “Bible”
Journalists typically write for a wide variety of media. Nonetheless, each outlet remains consistent as they publish a style guide for freelancers and contributors. THE style guide includes easy-to-understand do’s and don’ts. This proven method can also work for your brand or business. Creating a brand bible doesn’t have to be complex. Write down any key messages you want external stakeholders to take away from your interactions. Think about how you want your brand or business to be referenced, then write those down as well. Think of ways you never want to encounter and write them down. Here you are, you have just created your first brand bible. This document may be referenced at any time, during any campaign, by both internal executives and external public relations stakeholders. It will also serve as a map of where you are going and where your employers and PR team can turn when they have basic questions about your brand.
These three simple steps will help a PR team tremendously and ultimately your business in many ways. Following the guidelines above will ensure that you and the hired PR team are on the same page and share a unified view of how your company, product or story wants to be portrayed in the media. Additionally, by establishing a consistent brand identity and defining a consistent voice, your chosen PR firm will be able to better understand the company’s target demographic and can make significant progress in helping you achieve your goals. long-term. A clear sense of direction not only helps PR teams find the most relevant connections, outlets, and publications for your business, but will also be beneficial when tackling large-scale campaigns focused on growing your business. clientele, reach the most ideal press contacts and represent your business in the best way possible.