As 2018 comes to an end and a new year looms on the horizon, PR expert Denise Blackburn-Gay, APR, president and CEO of Marketing Strategies., Inc., offers the following public relations strategies for a successful 2019:
The need for strategic planning
While many organizations understand the need for a strategic plan, many still view it as an annual exercise that has little to do with bottom-line results. Strategic planning is an organizational process that includes a review of where the organization is currently and its objectives in the coming year. It includes strategies and tactics, methods, budget, and methods of measurement.
As the great Yogi Berra said, “If you don’t know where you are going, you are certain to end up somewhere else.”
The threat of reputation risk and the importance of crisis communication plans
It is no longer a matter of ‘if’ a crisis arises, but ‘when.’ When your reputation is on the line, it’s how you respond to the crisis and the overall strength of your public relations that determine whether your brand’s image will recover. 88 percent of executives cite reputational risk as a critical business challenge. That percentage will only increase.
The importance of instilling a sense of credibility
This is a result of the media fragmentation and a loss of trust in 2017. People respond to messages based on their perception of the communicator, not the content. Credibility must be the foundation of all communication.
The value of a strong social presence and digital communication
This includes focusing on content, graphics, and interactive features to keep customers engaged with the brand.
Ensuring that you ‘stand out’ through positive differentiation
Every day consumers are faced with decisions regarding where to eat, what to wear, and the list goes on. Begin by looking at your strengths as differentiators and design marketing strategies around those features.
Understanding and using analytics to measure results and implement changes in strategy
Your marketing/PR plan must adapt to changes in the marketplace. As with your business, the success of your campaign is not determined by ‘likes’ or ‘clicks,’ but by changes in perception.