Public Relations 101
by Jack Rubinger
Public relations is a strategic marketing discipline that involves equal doses of creativity, persistence, substance and cooperation to influence members of the media to look favorably on an industry, client, company, business or service. The third party credibility is one of the greatest benefits of public relations.
Public relations involves risks--stories may be edited due to length, bumped because of other news, ignored because it doesn't excite an editor or temporarily shelved because of lack of space in a particular issue.
Public relations includes the following tactics: pitch letters, fact sheets, newsletters, editorial meetings at trade shows, press releases, media tours, contributed articles, interviews, media training, round-up articles, feature articles, letters to the editor, surveys, events, editorial calendar opportunities and public speaking.
Public relations professionals rely on the following media to generate visibility:
o Trade, business and consumer magazines (local, national)
o Daily and weekly newspapers (local, national)
o Freelance writers (local, national)
o TV (local, national)
o Radio (local, national)
o Industry analysts (national)
o Web publications (national)
Successfully pitching local media may result in developing new business prospects, new clients, new partners and employees and improved company morale. National media have the highest perceived credibility. Trade media are the best for industry-specific story ideas. All media results should be recycled via reprints and website postings.
Public relations results have three "lives." By this, I mean that one should tell prospects/friends/influencers about a story before it appears, when it appears, and send the results after the story appears.
Public relations campaigns may augment other marketing efforts (e.g. fundraising, advertising, direct mail, merchandising, channel development, packaging, retail sales)--and all share the same messages.
Public relations may rely on both news (new company, new product, new service, new hire, new direction, new growth) and non-news (anniversaries. milestones, conferences, trade shows, speeches, surveys, contests) to create visibility.
Public relations involves positioning--a current position, a desired position and competitive positioning.
Public relations involve the development of a spokesperson--someone who is knowledgeable, responsive and fearless.
Public relations professionals charge by the hour, by the project or by retainer.
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Jack Rubinger focuses on helping small businesses with public relations. He is a winner of the Small Business Administration Home-Based Business Advocate of the Year. For background, visit www.isocom2000.com or email firstname.lastname@example.org.