One of the key factors to PR success is a plan, otherwise you won’t know whether you are accomplishing your PR goals.
Decide on What You Want to Highlight
If you decide on more than one thing you want to bring attention to or show your expertise, you might want to focus on just one at a time. Your focus might also have to do with what you want to accomplish using PR. Is your goal to establish your expertise, are you doing that to increase your personal job status? Are you looking at a branding campaign or launch of a new product? All of that factors into the plan if you want to make your PR efforts optimal.
Develop Materials and Presentations to Match Your Target Audience
You may have the perfect product, but if your PR presentations are not in the places to catch the attention of the people who will want what you offer, then you fall short of the PR mark. Make sure your work will show up where your target audience is looking on a regular basis. This may take some time to find the right places, but when you spot someplace that looks promising, then do some homework. Look at the focus of that resource, what types of stories they present, and any details that are likely to make what you offer a better fit and then include those things. If you sell items for those who ride horses, then getting your PR into designer fashion magazines will get your name out there, but probably won’t sell your products any faster.
Pitching to Journalists, Media Outlets, and other Influencers
It takes effort and more to build a list of contacts who want to work with you. In the beginning, you might want to just let journalists and media outlets know of your expertise in an area and your willingness to offer your opinion in any article they may be writing where you can give helpful information. Consider to sharing some possible story ideas … not just ones that have to do with your business, but with the field of interest. Prove that you are a valuable resource and not there just to try to get your name or product written up.
Also, consider building contacts with other experts in your field. Share your thoughts and ideas with them, offer to help when they might need a second opinion, or you can fill in for them as needed if their schedule is too busy. You might also brainstorm for ideas that each of you can use for content.
Practice and Grow
Don’t stop with the formal media sources either. If you have particular understanding of a topic of field, offer to speak for free with groups and organizations such as church groups, garden clubs, sports organizations, anything that might have an interest in what you know. It will get your name out there, and when people need what you offer, whether that’s a service or a product, they are more likely to choose your business to start their search.
Public relations is, after all, about the public. The public includes the media, other experts, your target audience, and more. Building trust and rapport with others will never hurt your PR work, but keeping in mind where you want the bulk of your efforts focused will also improve your PR plan … sometimes by leaps and bounds.
Ronn Torossian is the founder and CEO of 5WPR and one of the most well-respected Public Relations professionals in the United States.