The strategies that a company uses to relate to the public are vital to its success. They also say a lot about the company itself. With so many people in the information age feeling disconnected, understanding the importance of public relations is more important than ever. With this in mind, here are four foundational tactics for enhancing your organization’s public relations strategies.
1. Leverage technology
Increasingly, public relations is being done at the click of a button. Smartphones and improvements in digital video technology are elevating the customer experience by allowing consumers to interact with businesses remotely and on their own schedules. An effect of this technology is that consumer conversations are possible that allow businesses to engage prospective and current customers are multiple points on their journey with the brand. Artificial intelligence is changing the public relations world as well by not only automating more mundane customer service requests, but also thorough tracking current and evolving relationships with everyone from cold leads to repeat buyers.
2. Create a media kit
A media kit, or press kit, is a package of photographs and documents that tell your brand’s story. Ideally, it should contain a company overview and fact sheet, recent press releases, biographies of the leadership of the business and product descriptions. The press kit can take the form of a physical kit, but electronic media packages are becoming more popular, since they can be downloaded from a hyperlink on your company’s website by anyone who’s interested. The great thing about this method is that you can create a true multimedia experience for viewers. Task your most creative staff with making a program that not only showcases accomplishments and milestones, but also communicates the vision of your business. As people grow increasingly cynical towards traditional forms of advertisement, let who you are as an organization do the selling.
3. Be available to the public
Customers who feel connected to your company feel loyalty to your company. In our digital age, most of these connections are forged through social media. Believe it or not, social media often goes underused by businesses, in large part because it feels overwhelming. Understand that we live in a time of diversification in online media options, and that’s why niche marketing is coming into vogue. Many companies don’t even know they serve a niche, so take measures to narrow down your target audience and then tailor outreach to the specific platforms preferred by them.
It’s worth remembering that customer service is a major facet of public relations. There should be a focus on immediacy here; a recent HeyWire Business poll revealed that 52% of customers prefer text messaging as a form of customer service over their current non-texting method, so harness the power of that light-speed communication method whenever you can.
4. Do more research
It’s important that a business has a presence in the media as a whole. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be strategic about your media choices. Not all media is right for your business; if they’re not reaching that target audience of yours, you don’t have to reach out to them just for the sake of publicity. Understand the biases implicit in certain media outlets by learning their history covering companies like yours.
Another avenue of communication that is shaking up public relations is influencer marketing. Be aware of the buzz that influencers in your industry generate among customers and keep your finger on the pulse of the culture at large by listening to those influencers’ channels and examining how people respond to them. Think of this as marketing research because it absolutely is. You’ll never connect to the public without knowing them or the channels they use to communicate.
By putting the above suggestions into action, your business can have more focused and successful public relations campaigns. The result of this will be better branding, more effective marketing and a lasting impact on the lives of the customers you want to reach.