Written byÂ Barbara Tipton, owner of Grapevine Marketing Solutions which specializes in business writing, public relations and media communications
Public Relations are target-market awareness strategies used to meet the goals and objectives identified in your comprehensive marketing plan. Today, itâ€™s wise to out-source separate marketing and Public Relations services if qualified individuals are not on staff, as each discipline has its strengths for securing valuable market share.
By studying research gathered in your marketing plan, promotional activities focused on the 7-Pâ€™s of the extended marketing mixâ€”Product, Price, Promotion, Place (distribution), People, Processes, and Physical Evidence (of services offered)â€”can be evaluated honestly. In the first step, Public Relations (PR) campaigns manage the publicâ€™s perception of your business, reputation, a program or a product. And within both the marketing plan and the PR campaign, thereâ€™s energy to create remarkable things worth talking about.
The methodology of Public Relations is to invest resources on building positive, long-lasting relationships with profitable audiences. PR professionals next identify the desired target market, then craft and tailor every positive message, piece of collateral, media communication, and special event to influence that audience, constantly measuring ROI against the influence. With fast-forward technology at your fingertips, the promotional tools you choose to use today will be obsolete tomorrow, so you must work at the top of your game.
The audience will define the promotional activities and media tools used today. The days of printed advertising, sales promotions, direct marketing pieces are dwindling. Printing costs, expensive postage, dwindling newspaper readership, and junk mail are not as effective as they used to be. Dynamic websites, along with these electronic PR tools are welcomed most frequently by todayâ€™s environmental-friendly and â€˜too-busyâ€™ audiences:
â€¢Â Electronic press releases
â€¢Â Links to online Press Kits
â€¢Â Wire service distribution feeds
â€¢Â Electronic news releases to strategic media partners
â€¢Â Online personal sales blasts, e-zines, e-coupons
Narrowing the scope of the target market defines success today. â€˜Ageâ€™ now dictates whether to use print or electronic means of PR communication. An audience above 40-years old may still respond to printed materials and values something they can hold in their hands, read and keep. A younger audience, between 25 to 40-years of age, is more comfortable online, preferring interactive, digital communications and e-files. Whatever is new, personalâ€”yet practical, will capture the attention of the Gen Yâ€™s and future cyber generations. And lately, smart businesses are using social technology at record-speed to share their message with a narrow, but precisely chosen audience:Â
â€¢Â RSS satellite feeds
â€¢Â Pod casts
â€¢Â Web casts
â€¢Â My Space
â€¢Â You Tube
Lastly, one of the most accepted and strongest promotional activities today are partnership events. Even though these people-friendly venues raise business PR to a new level, they are very resource heavy and must be professionally planned for success. Individual or product placement within community events or at celebrity functions can develop high-visibility if you carefully select strategic alliances. Products/people can be launched at press conferences, media seminars, public speaking opps, grand openings as well as entertainment and sporting events. The secret is to garner events that establish honorable partnerships, which in turn benefit the bottom line.
Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â Â – – –
Public Relations professionals keep abreast of the fast, ever-changing landscape of business through the local and national association of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).