Build a Thriving PR Relationship That Gets You Results
In my last article, I answered six common questions professionals have about public relations. Now that you’re more informed about the value a PR firm can bring to your business, perhaps you’re ready to move to the next step: hiring one.
So, what happens after signing on the dotted line with a new PR firm? Once you’ve hired a public relations team to represent you or your business, it’s important to stay engaged. Whether you’re planning to hire a PR firm for the first time, still on the fence, or are already working with a team, here are four tips for maximizing your engagement to build a thriving relationship that gets you results.
4 Ways to Maximize Your PR Engagement
1. Be involved with your PR firm.
You get what you give in public relations. If your involvement is less than stellar, you won’t see the results you want. Simply put, only hire a PR firm if you have internal resources to nurture the relationship. To succeed in this industry, you have to be involved, engaged, and responsive—whether that’s with your customers, stockholders, or the media.
I highly recommend touching base with your firm at minimum twice a month. If you’re too busy for this level of commitment, deputize someone on your team to maintain the relationship. That person should be able to get answers from you quickly or be empowered to make decisions on your behalf.
2. Create an easily accessible media kit.
Firms (and media professionals!) will need an easy way to access and reference your company’s relevant information for a potential story. If you can’t deliver the goods (fast!), you might lose out on big opportunities. I’ve seen reporters pass over a story because they can’t find pertinent information on a company’s website or don’t get a timely response to a phone call or email.
I recommend creating a downloadable electronic press kit on your website that contains relevant assets, such as:
- Headshots of C-suite executives and biographies
- Company video links
- JPEG and EPS company logo files
- A list of products or services the company provides
- Product shots or engaging workplace photos
- Company history/timelines
If you’re directing media inquiries to your website for further information, be sure that your website is a strong representation of your brand! That site is the public face of your organization and acts as a stand-in for the people behind it.
3. Set clear goals and objectives for the PR engagement.
At the beginning of the engagement (or at your annual meeting), identify clear targets and set expectations for the year.
If you interact with different audiences (e.g. employees, customers, investors), build communication strategies for each segment based on the results you want to achieve.
Want to hire new employees or build a bigger presence in trade publications? Write all those intentions down and get everyone on the same page! As one team, it’s important to have the same wins in mind and aligned.
After discussion, your PR professional should be able to create a clear proposal with monthly or quarterly goals and objectives for the engagement. You’ll need to stick to those goals so that your PR team can dedicate the necessary resources to hit their targets.
4. Trust the process.
It’s great to have big-picture dreams, but realize that they may take a while to come to fruition. If you’re set on getting published in a high-profile dream publication (like the New York Times or Wall Street Journal), for example, you and your PR team will need to do some groundwork by building up your platform.
What might this process look like?
- Securing coverage in smaller publications (e.g. local news, trade publications)
- Demonstrating mastery of your topic, being articulate, and providing valuable information
- Telling a story that sets you apart: claiming that your company is “customer-focused,” for example, is standard…but it’s not standout!
- Teasing out an angle that represents your company but isn’t too sales-pitchy
- Getting to know the journalists
In short, do your homework! A good PR partner will do everything in their power to help you realize your goals,, so trust the process.
5. Get Inspired!
What companies are killing it with their PR? Study their tactics and apply them to your own PR plan. We don’t always have to reinvent the wheel when we can learn from the greats who paved the way before us.
The secret to good PR doesn’t end with hiring a firm (although it pays to hire a good one). Public relations, as its name suggests, is all about building relationships—including the one you have with your PR partners. To get people excited about your company, you have to show engagement with and enthusiasm for your own brand as well.
Looking for a PR firm that will take care of your brand like its own? Let’s schedule a chat!