Last night at dinner, a client of mine mentioned she thought some companies shy away from public relations because they either don't understand it in principle or haven't had any accidental success with it, so they don't realize the impact it can have on their business. She's right in her observation, and in this case, ignorance is not bliss. PR becomes a huge missed opportunity for these companies to do something truly powerful and also very cost effective.
At its core, PR is about creating awareness and fostering communications with consumers. Simply put, it's a tool every brand needs to grow profits, reputation, and consumer loyalty.
So what exactly should a company do to implement PR and effectively open the door for consumer awareness and interaction? God is in the details and nuance matters, which is why professionals like the talented folks on my team at AMP spend their days and nights keeping up with news and trends to anticipate what will work and what won't for certain brands. It boils down to a proven process that is thorough yet simple:
1) Research the target consumer by investigating what they read, see and hear, and we think about who and what influences them.
2) Find the delta point between the target consumers lifestyle and the attributes of the product or service we're representing. We land on salient communications topics whether it's moms who need a healthy alternative for dessert but don't want to skimp on taste, college students in search of something fun to do on campus, or boomers who love to be online and want to stay connected to their kids and grandkids.
3) Determine the best way to deliver that message to consumers. It may be a placement on a morning show, a Twitter sweepstakes, blogger sampling campaign or a push for product reviews in long lead glossy magazines. As long as people read, watch and listen to the media and influencers around them, there will always be a 'right' channel for us to communicate across and a 'perfect' tactic that hits home.
What does success look like? For every client the answer is different, but it's always a measure of how well the campaign increased awareness and cultivated consumer communications. Some PR successes we've recently seen at AMP include:
*Reaching over 4 million impressions with college media in one semester for a product line
*Securing television, print and Web coverage over a six month period for an emerging national brand totaling over $1 million monthly in value
*Getting a niche group buzzing online about a little known product component leading to positive raves and reviews
Buzz words and lingo aside, weighing the benefits to PR is simple: there is always value in heightening awareness and fostering communications.
Feeling shy about PR? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll put together an audience/opportunity snapshot and thought-starter recommendations to evaluate and see what PR can do for you.