All of marketing, of course, is designed to impact key facets of business. PR, however, can be especially powerful when well-executed – given the greater level of credibility attributed to media placements, and its capability to reach very targeted and meaningful audiences. Business leaders often don’t automatically know all the ways PR can deliver on important business strategies.
Often, executives think of PR as a way to announce news, more so than impact key facets of their business. By thinking of PR as largely news-oriented, leaders are leaving important strategies on the table.
PR is leveraged by organizations to accomplish a host of goals that support underlying business initiatives well-beyond the realm of news or even traditional thought leadership.
Below are three “other” PR strategies that might benefit your organization:
- Impact key, policy issues: Public relations is leveraged by all kinds of entities to educate audiences on key issues impacted by public policies. Examples of entities who may focus on policy issues include:
- Formal trade associations
- Formal or temporary coalitions of disparate organizations who share the same perspective on one issue
- Corporations whose market interest also aligns with the work of credible nonprofits
Regularly, this type of public relations is established to bring awareness around an issue, put pressure on elected officials to respond or rally the public’s support. An example could be an energy rate increase from a utility company that impacts the cost of doing business for a large manufacturer, a hospital system and a nonprofit serving the impoverished. Bring all three stakeholders impacted by the rate increase together, and a powerful perspective can be crafted in the media.
- Define a market: Beyond thought leadership and product related PR, there are many examples of public relations strategies designed to create a market – or more precisely, redefine a market. A PR program, integrated with an Owned Media content strategy, can serve to synthesize and validate a company’s market vision. Perhaps the solution offers a new way of approaching an inefficiency, a new technology platform that is more secure or responsive, or a new service model that addresses an industry’s pain-points. Often, these strategies are best executed in trade media environments that are important to the sector being targeted. The validation of a reporter covering a company’s innovative approach and using the terminology coined by the company is nearly priceless. This coverage, then, can be used as a platform within marketing and sales. And, the more it builds, the more it validates the market.
- Recruit the best: In an industry requiring highly skilled workers, many times there is a talent shortage and success depends on the ability to staff for key positions. Public relations can be used, for example, to target awareness of a company’s cultural differentiators within a region, trade press or in the national media – depending on the recruiting strategy. Additionally, visibility strategies can be executed within the alumni magazines and outlets of where a company may seek to recruit the best. Stories may focus on the growth of a company and their hiring needs, their culture and other key differentiators that potential employees may find of value.
PR is not limited to making news or creating thought leaders. It can be a strategy for educating audiences, attracting people to a cause or reaching out to the kinds of candidates needed to be successful. Consider all that a business needs to be successful when architecting a PR campaign. A firm with a solid, diverse client base can bring strategies that have a far-reaching impact on the success of a business.