The fundamentals of PR revisited


For many companies providing goods and services in a competitive market place, on-going public relations is almost a necessity. There are many dimensions to cover in any PR campaign and the focus of your activities may shift from time to time. From straightforward press announcements to special promotions for new products and services, from press conferences to road shows, your PR activities will unfold through many forms and channels in the course of time. The particular vehicle you use will be determined by the aims and objectives of each campaign and the audiences you are trying to reach.

It is an ever exciting challenge to help clients communicate specific messages and to establish goodwill. It is what keeps the creative juices flowing. But it is also wise to keep the fundamentals of PR in mind. In this blog post we revisit a few of the basics to help you prioritise PR in your business.

Informational PR
First of all, there are new people entering the market every day. The need to promote your company’s goods and services to new entrants cannot be taken for granted. Even if your company is a popular brand or household name, it’s not safe to assume that new consumers will automatically choose your product or service over similar ones in the market.

Educational PR
This goes a step further than simply informing people about a product or service. It is about letting them have further details and reasons why they should choose your product or service instead of similar ones on the market. Creative use of PR can help to generate a buzz and excitement about new products, upgrades and services in both traditional and social media, helping to persuade audiences to take a closer look at the products/services. A good example is the array of PR activities that take place around an Apple launch – even big brands with fantastic track records don’t take things for granted.

Targeting different segments of the market: Often PR activities are directed at particular segments of the market, when a one catch-all method is not available. This is an area of PR which offers great scope for creativity and smart marketing – to craft and target specific messages to, say, the youth market, holidaymakers of a certain age or income group, or shoppers of luxury and leisure products. With the recent explosion of social media, there are many more avenues and channels to target particular audiences (see our post on being savvy in the use of social media).

Keeping a high profile
Beyond helping to maintain the high visibility of a client in the market place, well targeted PR campaigns can help your company or organisation to achieve and keep a high profile among key audiences or the wider population. The range of PR activities here could involve placing advertorials in particular magazines, staging road shows, demonstrations and sampling, to attending trade fairs and exhibitions.

Staying ahead of the competition
Many companies have to engage in ongoing PR activity to stay ahead of the competition or at least keep up with it. Especially in a harsh economic climate, companies have to keep people informed of their presence as well as offerings almost continuously. It’s great to have quality products and services to offer to the market, but a company stands to lose a sizeable share of possible takings if it doesn’t let people know of these offerings. Hence, the need for creative and well-designed PR campaigns as part of the marketing effort.

See our blog post on the Top Ten PR tips to get a head start in the game.


(Photo credit: © Robert Churchill)

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