Public Relations for Public Relations Companies

Public relations for public relations companies is one of the most important tools to expand their business. After all if a public-relations company is really good then other companies will see this and want to hire them. When a company hires a public-relations team they expect 100% best efforts.

As the public-relations company does a good job they also need to toot their own horn. How can the public-relations company to its own horn and without detracting from the company they are promoting?

There are many ways actually and often you will see their logo at the bottom of a web site, on a press release or advertising. Sometimes the public-relations companies will give a discount to the client in order to do this. Often when we see a very good marketing campaign, public interest story or community-based marketing program; we say to ourselves Wow! And we want to know who is behind it; often what we find is that it is a public-relations specialist team promoting a product or service for their client.

It makes sense that public-relations is a big part of how a public-relations company would market itself to potential clients, corporations and organizations, which might hire it. Public relations companies must promote community goodwill with government agencies, nonprofit groups and local corporations.

They are often involved in the Industry Associations and Chambers of Commerce. No public-relations company is without good public-relations and if they cannot market themselves then no one is going to hire them.

10 Components of Online Public Relations

The expansion of public relations into the online arena is essential, both for PR pros and clients who hire them. Public relations is broadly defined as “unpaid publicity,” setting it apart from advertising, or “paid publicity.” Thus, Internet ads, including programs such as AdWords, should be left to advertisers. However, many online activities are available at no cost and require original vendor-neutral content. Therefore, they can properly be undertaken by a public relations agency.

1) Blogs

Collections of short entries with a common theme, blogs provide original thoughts by the client and are often written or edited by a public relations professional. They should reside on the client’s website, contain contributions of 200-300 words, and be posted at least once a week.

2) Email marketing

The purview of programs such as Constant Contact or Mail Chimp, email marketing consists of a customized template with article snippets and an optional link, “click here to read more.” The link will drive the reader to the client’s website and thus increase traffic. Email newsletters are also useful in reminding prospects of your services by showing up in their email box every other month.

3) Social media

The “sexiest” element of online PR, social media gives the opportunity for visitors to post their thoughts and links to interesting articles, with the option of commenting on posts left by others, known as followers, connections, etc. The big three: LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter should not be neglected, but social media is constantly evolving. Pinterest was all the rage for a while and more recently, Instagram has taken its place.

4) Website development

Creating new web pages is relatively easy to learn, and you can then use FTP programs to upload, download and edit pages at no cost. The ability to create new pages is essential for a client’s website to remain dynamic, react to recent developments in its field and stay ahead of the competition.

5) Media room

A media room gathers all the publicity about your client in one section of its website. It should contain categories such as press releases, email newsletters and bylined articles with a landing page for each one, a list of the publicity achieved and a link to the full document. A media room will grow as the public relations professional achieves publicity for its client.

6) Search engine optimization

Search engine optimization or SEO requires the creation of original content and increasing the number of inbound links going to the client’s website. Inbound links are simply clickable text on other sites pointing to your own. Google uses this parameter as a primary element in determining the ranking of websites.

7) Keyword research

Keyword research provides critical information in determining website content. You must find out what keywords or short phrases your clients’ potential customers are using when they are looking to purchase their product. Then, you can optimize for those keywords by including them in the clients’ website and “meta tags.”

8) Article marketing

Article marketing involves the creation of bylined documents and then posting them on “content provision sites.” These sites provide material for their visitors, but anyone publishing them must include the URL to your client’s (author’s) site, thus creating an inbound link and improving SEO.

9) Graphic design

Typically outsourced in traditional public relations, elementary graphic design such as cropping and resizing images is essential for website content and email templates.

10) Integrated communications

The ability to combine all the elements above, re-using content where appropriate (depending on copyright permissions), and using them in tandem with traditional PR, is essential to garner the maximum benefit from an overall public relations program.

Public Relations As a Management Tool

Public relations (PR) is an often misunderstood and under-valued management tool. To many it is seen as just another form of advertising while others dismiss PR as dealing with journalists and sending out press releases. In fact, PR can play a central role in the achievement of specific objectives at all levels of an organisation’s work by focusing, reinforcing and communicating an effective message.

Used properly, public relations is an excellent and cost effective method of improving the image of an individual, organisation or product. It is about ensuring that your audience (customer) receives and accepts the message you wish to project.

Public relations involves many other disciplines and it can have an impact on every aspect of an organisation. It is about projecting the right message and as such, it can involve press relations, advertising, marketing, sponsorship, exhibitions, local community events, the environment and public affairs.

Communication is the key to public relations – communicating the right message to the public, employees, shareholders and other specific target audiences.

PR defined – The Institute of Public Relations defines public relations as “the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain good will and mutual understanding between an organisation and its customers.”

Why use PR?

A company can survive without PR, but with a planned PR programme the company can expect better results and an enhanced reputation.

Obviously no amount of good relations can hide a bad product or protect an unethical company. For public relations to succeed the organisation must be credible. PR alone cannot cure a terminally sick organisation. What it can do is help to promote a positive corporate reputation and to minimise the damage that occurs when something does go wrong.

A good corporate reputation can be likened to a healthy bank balance. The better the reputation, the more ‘reputation credit’ you have with your stakeholders and if people think well of you, it makes it easier for you to do what you want – even if that means changing working practices or increasing your prices. In addition, when things go wrong the more credit you have in your reputation bank the better you will weather the storm (provided the issue is properly managed). But if you have no credit at all, there is only one way to go.
What happens if you don’t use PR?

No matter how good you are, if you don’t communicate with your public, you won’t put your message across. You will lose out to your rivals who are using public relations more aggressively to ensure effective communication.

It is not possible to abdicate from a public image. If you are not managing the information by which people form their opinions, their view of your company will be based solely on what they hear from other (uncontrolled) sources. In short, if you do not manage your reputation, others will do it for you.

You cannot quantify what you lose if you don’t use PR, but companies that do use it can see the benefits in increased awareness of themselves and their products. Companies feel effective PR working for them in many ways:

o Better staff recruitment and retention
o Greater market share
o Customer recognition and loyalty
o Motivated sales force
o Shareholder satisfaction

In other words a structured PR programme helps a company operate more successfully on all levels of business. Cultivating a good public relations image is worthwhile and having a bad image or even no image at all in the eyes of your market can have disastrous consequences.

In order to operate more effectively and efficiently an organisation needs to recognise and meet the needs of all its customers – some more obvious than others.

This means:

o Identifying all potential customers
o Identifying and responding to their needs
o Communicating with them

Responding to your customers’ needs

o What do your customers want from you?
o What do you provide that your rivals don’t?
o What is your Unique Selling Point (USP)?
o Is your market aware of your company’s USP’s?

Communicating with your customers

o How do your existing customers hear about new developments, projects and contracts?
o How do potential customers hear about your organisation?
o Are you quoted in the press, more or less frequently than your competitors?
o Do you monitor your communication material to ensure that it is relevant and effective?
o What do your employees think of your company?
o Is your belief in the organisation the same as your public image?

The process of reviewing communication in an organisation is often referred to as a “communications audit”.

Some PR facts:

o PR is about presenting a positive image
o PR is about managing reputations
o Customers take notice (and are willing to believe) a news story in a magazine
o What someone else says about you is at least ten times more believable than what you say about yourself
o Used properly and to complement other parts of an organisation’s activities, PR can

actually save money!

Why should you use PR?

Use PR because:

o It creates a good image
o It makes people more keen to do business with you
o It improves your standing in your own market
o It makes it easier to attract, and retain, a high calibre of workforce
o It puts you in the media when you want to be there
o It allows you to control the message
o It allows you to create the image you wish for your company
o It gives you ‘licence’ to change your working practices – increase costs etc,
o It can help to minimise the damage when things go wrong

How important is corporate identity?

The answer is very. A strong, positive corporate identity can enhance your company across all its operations, while a poor or negative identity will be equally effective in weakening your reputation. A good image can take years to build, but it can be quickly tarnished by negative publicity. Great care, and effort, is needed to foster and protect an organisation’s reputation.

A strong corporate identity results in people trusting in the value of you and your products and/or services. They are happy to deal with you and give you their custom. They will come back to you time and time again if you gain their loyalty. Your reputation is enhanced and this in turn helps to reinforce your corporate identity.

“The purest treasure mortal times afford is spotless reputation; that away men are but gilded loam or painted clay” – Shakespeare, Richard II