Get Results From Your Public Relations Firm: Do’s and Don’ts for Start-Ups Seeking Publicity

Most new business owners know the value of publicity for promoting their company’s reputation and selling their product or service. However, many don’t know how to go about getting it. They may hire a public relations firm – a good idea even for start-ups – then be disappointed with the results.

This does not have to be the case. If you are the owner of a new business, you can have a successful working relationship with your public relations firm and achieve your goals simply by following some basic guidelines.

Here are some Do’s and Don’ts that should put you on the right track.

DO:

1. Expect honest representation. Your public relations firm should have a good idea of what will – and will not – get attention in the news media. They should also know the best media outlets and reporters to approach to get editorial coverage for your business. Listen to them. Problems in a PR firm-client relationship often stem from public relations counselors going against their better judgment and pitching a story they know will not fly, just to please an insistent client. Media pitches for a company with a reputation of sending out material that isn’t newsworthy are likely to be ignored.

2. Communicate everything about your business to your public relations counselor – not just what you think he or she needs to know. You may have some hidden gems of stories in your business that you – being an insider and not attuned to media interests – may not think are all that interesting. You should also share information about any potential problems or embarrassing situations. A PR professional will keep your confidences and help you manage negative publicity, should it occur.

3. Ask for a crisis communication plan. You may never have to utilize it – and let’s hope that’s true – but having a crisis communication plan in place and circulated among top officers of your company will come in handy to tap down negative stories before they balloon into major problems that could damage your company’s reputation.

4. Have a media contact procedure in place. Everyone – from the receptionist to the president – needs to know what to do if and when the media calls. The best advice is to have everyone refer calls from the news media to the public relations firm. They can sort out all the particulars and arrange for any interviews.

5. Respond quickly to interview requests as they are presented to you by your public relations person. Media interviews are an opportunity for you to present your company the way you want it presented. But reporters have deadlines; if you aren’t available, they will interview someone else, and you may miss out on an opportunity to get positive media coverage.

DON’T:

1. Expect a guarantee. Media coverage cannot be guaranteed, unless you do a “pay-for-play” agreement with a particular publication, in which you buy advertising and get an article on your company in return. Other than that type of arrangement – usually referred to as an “advertorial” – no public relations firm can, or should, guarantee coverage.

2. Be a one-hit wonder. One big round of publicity is not going to carry you very far. A good public relations program is an ongoing enterprise, and often a “drip-drip-drip” strategy is better than a one-time splashy feature.

3. Be caught unprepared. Ask for media training. You may be a great communicator in many ways, but doing a media interview is a special skill. Having some knowledge of how the media works, developing strong messages, and practicing delivering them will make you a better, more confident company representative.

4. Expect media coverage to do it all. There are many other ways to reach your targeted audience, including social media, marketing communications, and opportunities for direct engagement. A good PR person will look at your firm – its goals, its product or service offerings, its target markets – and design a communication strategy specific to your needs.

5. Be discouraged if your plan takes a while to get off the ground. You want to have everything – messages, action plan, trained spokespersons, etc. – in place before you go public. First impressions are lasting ones.

Margot Dimond, APR, is an accredited public relations professional with 30 years of experience providing public relations and marketing communications to businesses and nonprofit organizations. She is currently a principal with DoubleDimond Pu

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Get Results From Your Public Relations Firm: Do’s and Don’ts for Start-Ups Seeking Publicity

The Role of Public Relations in an Organization

Everyone knows that several factors are responsible for the success story of an organization. These factors include reputation and image of an organization and communication with public. Public relations are concerned with reputation, image and communication of public and organization. The enhancement of reputation of an organization is a main goal of Public Relation Department. The employees of Public Relations are known as PR. They represent the company in outside world at its best.

In the highly competitive world of modern business, every organization needs a stand in the crowd and to uniquely identify in front of public and media. PR basically engage with development of suitable relations of any organization with public via different communication media and tools. These Relations are those necessary activities which assess and determine belief, approach, and thinking of public towards organization. Public and media play an integral role in the development of business. Public is the ultimate buyer of our products and media is responsible for selling of these products. PR helps any organization to attain its full prospective. They provide feedback of public to company.

The role of PR in an organization is immense and wider scope, which includes:

Prepare feedback from public and decide the areas of improvement in organization.
Create rapport and goodwill of organization in the key market and public.
Image and reputation of company in different magazines and articles in media and its publications.
Evaluate and monitor media tools for public views and comments regarding company and its reputation.
PR is also a part of marketing communication, which involves in advertising, direct sales and promotions.
Several functions are associated with PR in an organization. The main functions are community relationship, crisis communication, financial relations, employee’s relations, and government and political relations.

Community relations refer to those activities which bridge the gap between company and community. The main goal is to improve image and reputation of organization in any community. Crisis communications give the right and accurate information about organization in the time of any mishappening and accident. Wrong information leads to negative image of organization. PR plays an important part to update public in the time of emergencies and natural calamities. Financial relations provide information to the investors and stakeholders. It communicates with all types of groups and individuals for accurate operation of business. These activities enhance goodwill and image of organization.

Employee relations are the way to interact with customers in several ways. The employee’s reputation is the key player in company’s reputation. Political and government relations define influence for policymaking and different legislation for the betterment of organization.

We can say that PR is the basic of firm relationship between public and organization. The strong bonding of the companies and customers is the key goal of Public Relations.

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on The Role of Public Relations in an Organization