How to maximise your PR impact
If you scan LinkedIn and take a high-level look at the content, you will start to see different trends. However, what you want in your public relations campaign is not trends but true methods that actually have been shown to work.
When choosing a corporate communications agency, you need to find someone who is fit for purpose for your business.
It might be an individual, it might be a whole firm. The advisor also needs to fit your hip pocket.
Annette Ellis, strategic communications advisor and CEO of Cannings Purple, says there’s no point going to a corporate communications agency if you’re a small retail business in the fast-moving consumer goods sector.
Or, for example, if you’re Barbagallo Raceway and you want a marketing sponsorship program, you want to go to a firm that’s got a track record in that space.
A person who understands your industry will know your business drivers, the risks and opportunities.
Your PR professional needs to know more channels than just press releases, which are not always relevant for small to medium businesses.
Social media is the channel of choice for these businesses and the area where you can make the most impact for the least cost.
“I’ve seen Facebook used by small business exceptionally well,” Ellis says.
“There’s a little beach shack fish and chip shop near where I live, and they do great things on social. Every time I go onto social media, they know that I live in their neighbourhood and their targeting is spot on.
“I know what events they’ve got on, where to get tickets, what the menu is and when they’ve got themed days. I just think wow, there’s a little business that is doing a great job; they’re always packed and always pumping. I think that’s when it’s (PR via social media) done really well.”
When thinking about best practice for PR, consider the following:
- Quality over quantity: You want your messages to be well targeted. You are better off having a strong relationship with five journalists who cover your catchment audience than spamming a thousand with a press release. Also, plan your social media messages and know the audience that will receive your posts.
- Use different channels: Many people think of the press release when it comes to public relations, but this is only one channel. You can use direct mail, social media, specific analysts and influencers and a well-placed article in a specific publication.
- Use your customers: Provide a space for happy customers or clients to give testimonials. Personal referrals carry more weight than advertising.
- Message: Are the messages consistent across all platforms?
- Sector experience: When choosing a PR profession to help, make sure they know the sector you’re operating in. Vital to all good PR is understanding your stakeholders. Where do they consume their news and where are they going to be vocal about your brand? The channel your client/customer consumes their news determines where you should be pushing your communications and which channels you should be using. This is also where they’re going to be vocal if they’re unhappy and you need to have some controls already in place.