via Forbes : In the PR industry, we know that the definition of “public relations” can change from firm to firm, year to year. PR is constantly evolving, and so are industry practices. At Ideas That Evoke, we have changed the way we approach PR as an agency function. Our clients don’t have time to play the waiting game.
Today’s PR requires an integrated approach that goes well beyond traditional strategies. From leveraging placements via social to staying on top of tech advancements that open new channels, there’s so much more to PR than press releases and cold calls. While traditional means of communication will always remain worthwhile, it is invaluable to combine innovative strategy with tried and true practices for a PR plan to keep you ahead of the game.
Try these five tips to boost your PR plan:
Over-Manage The Details
Details make a difference. We borrowed this philosophy from Walt Disney, and it has worked its magic in our office since day one with a 100% referral-based business. We make an effort to see details that other agencies or PR pros might overlook, and then we act on them. If the angle isn’t working, it’s time to pivot. If a reporter doesn’t bite, it’s time to consider why and shift your strategy. To be impactful and successful in the ever-changing world of PR, it takes attention to detail and agility.
Think Outside The Template
Anyone can pitch an editor, but few media professionals are skilled in the art of communication. According to Cision’s 2016 State of the Media Report, more than three-quarters of journalists responded that communications professionals had room for improvement. Specifically, 78.5% are looking for pitches tailored to their point of contact’s beat or coverage and 77.3% encouraged PR pros to improve their research and understanding of media outlets before pitching. Learning to identify which story angle or product feature fits within a publication’s aesthetic will not only lead to more placements, it’ll also grab the reader’s attention. Knowing your audience and anticipating their habits will simplify the pitching process and land more placements.
Get Creative About Strategy
A strong PR plan isn’t just focused on long-lead coverage: It targets multiple verticals. Placing content on a variety of consumer touch points increases reach and serves to tell different stories that speak directly to the consumer. The tone, narrative, visuals, brand messaging and timing will all change based on your target. This requires you to proactively think outside the box and place yourself in the end-user’s shoes. For example, a product feature may take a different angle in a broadcasting segment versus a native print ad versus a targeted social media ad. If that product is being demonstrated at a trade show, a livestream broadcast on social has the power to both pique interest and generate SEO clicks.
Keep It In The Family
PR teams have their finger on the pulse of what’s relevant, and that is maximized with an in-house social team. When the PR team meets with the account team, they get a better sense of the conversations each brand’s audience is having across the respective platforms and outlets. Social media allows brands to facilitate real-time conversations with their most engaged followers. This can inform everything — from pitches and editorial calendars to activations. Connecting social to events reaches the consumer both onsite and online. Facebook Live, for example, offers the value-add of remaining archived and accessible on a brand’s page after the initial broadcast. The immediacy of the livestream engages audiences, while the archived content remains for newcomers to continue commenting, liking and sharing. Strategic integration of PR and social media offers a low-cost, high-return means of creating new touch points for a growing audience.
Remember What PR Stands For
Public relations is, at its core, about relationships. Whether you’re sending a thank you email to editors, meeting a brand executive at a trade show or engaging with reporters over social, PR is all about the art of communication. Within every facet of the agency experience, I’ve emphasized the value of relationships and adding a personal touch. For example, when we receive a referral from a colleague or client, they receive an orchid at their office the next day. Translating those soft skills into each interaction can set an agency apart. It’s especially important — when you spend most of your day digitally plugged-in — to make an effort to connect with people one-on-one. The industry has transformed since I began working in PR, but at the heart of it all is the ability to navigate fast-paced interpersonal relationships.