Public Relations involves a variety of programs designed to maintain or enhance a company’s image and the products and services it offers. Successful implementation of an effective public relations strategy can be a critical component to a marketing plan.
A public relations (PR) strategy may play a key role in an organization’s promotional strategy. A planned approach to leveraging public relations opportunities can be just as important as advertising and sales promotions. Public relations is one of the most effective methods to communicate and relate to the market. It is powerful and, once things are in motion, it is the most cost effective of all promotional activities. In some cases, it is free.
The success of well executed PR plans can be seen through several organizations that have made it a central focus of their promotional strategy. Paul Newman’s Salad Dressing, The Body Shop, and Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream have positioned their organizations through effective PR strategies. Intel, Sprint and Microsoft have leveraged public relations to introduce and promote new products and services.
Goals and Objectives of a Public Relations Strategy
Similar to the foundational goals of marketing, effective public relations seeks to communicate information to:
- Launch new products and services.
- Reposition a product or service.
- Create or increase interest in a product, service, or brand.
- Influence specific target groups.
- Defend products or services that have suffered from negative press or perception.
- Enhance the firm’s overall image.
The result of an effective public relations strategy is to generate additional revenue through greater awareness and information for the products and services an organization offers.
Areas of Public Relations
Good strategy begins with identifying your goals and stating your objectives. What are the goals and objectives behind your public relations strategy and can they be measured and quantified?
Once you have identified your goals, the next step is to identify the type of public relations activity that will help you accomplish your goals. The various areas of a public relations campaign are as follows:
Communicating news and information of interest about organizations in the most positive light.
Product and service promotion
Sponsoring various efforts to publicize specific products or services.
Promoting a better and more attractive understanding of the organization with internal and external communications.
Communicating with key individuals to positively influence legislation and regulation.
Advising decision makers within the organization regarding the public’s perception and advising actions to be taken to change negative opinions.
Excerpt from On Target : The Book on Marketing Plansby Tim Berry and Doug Wilson
Recommended Books on Public Relations Strategy:
- Strategic Public Relations: 10 Principles to Harness the Power of PR
- The New Rules of Marketing & PR: How to Use Social Media, Online Video, Mobile Applications, Blogs, News Releases, and Viral Marketing to Reach Buyers Directly
- The Public Relations Writer’s Handbook: The Digital Age
- Social Media and Public Relations: Eight New Practices for the PR Professional
- The AMA Handbook of Public Relations
- How to Use Public Relations for Your Home Business
- How to Plan Your Marketing Process
- How to Market a Service Business
- Is Your Marketing Strategy Killing Your Profits?
- Why Your Small Business Needs an Effective Communications Strategy