Public Relations is the strategic crafting of your story, your message. Publicity is the result of
your story being placed in front of your target audience through social, print and electronic
media. Public Relations goes beyond telling your story to engaging your public in
conversations. It's about connecting and building relationships.
You wouldn’t build a house without a blueprint. Why would you communicate without one?
Communicating without a plan is risky business.
Here are a few guidelines for working with a Public Relations firm.
We are strategic partners, not order takers
Let us be the first to know.
Our place at the table is beside the decision-makers leading the company.
Every communication and encounter speaks volumes about a company and helps build the story of your brand.
Clients often call in a rush, wanting something published and expect it appear within a week. Sporadic press releases don’t work - neither do sporadic ads. It’s like throwing spaghetti against the wall to see what will stick. One-way communication, doesn’t work. Conversations are two-way communication. Start by listening, not telling or selling.
Press releases are just one tool for sharing news, telling stories and building brands. Other tools we use include:
• web site • testimonials
• bios • social media
• word of mouth • stories and blogs
• community engagement (CSR)
You don’t leave clients on hold. Journalists are your clients, too.
Journalists work on tight deadlines. If you don’t respond in time you’ve missed the opportunity - maybe any opportunity - to be in a story.
Public Relations professionals work closely with journalists to earn their trust as reliable resources for stories. We can’t afford to let a client jeopardize that trust by not being responsive, accurate or courteous.
Give us something to talk about
Public Relations professionals pitch story ideas to the media. Journalists write the story. Rarely, does a media outlet allow the PR firm or client to write a story. We do, however, ensure the most important facts are accurate and help position the story as relevant. It’s not about spin but finding a newsworthy perspective and timely topic.
Stories are evaluated by whether or not they are newsworthy to the reader, listener or viewer - not the client. Unlike ads, clients are not allowed to read a story before it runs. Ads are paid solicitations and do not have the same credibility as a published story or news announcement.
Let us translate
Please don’t tell us what to say. Let us translate your strategic plan and goals into a Communication Plan. Public Relations professionals craft key messages for each audience and medium to help share your story, build your brand and connect with both internal and external audiences.
While we craft the message, we’re not the messengers. Our job is to put you in the spotlight. Your customers want to see and hear from you, not an outsider. Business is personal. It’s about building relationships. It’s your story to tell. It's your conversation with customers on social media. No one wants to talk to the PR person, they want to talk with you.
Timing is everything
Everything in Public Relations is driven by deadlines.
No two days are alike. Opportunities can pop up anytime and we need to be able to respond in a timely manner. This is why clients invest in a monthly retainer fee to ensure we have enough time budgeted to handle their needs.
When someone calls with a project, we need to work it in to our existing schedule. Sometimes we can’t drop everything we’re working on for an existing client. Please understand it might take a day or two - or a week - to start a new project.
Speaking of schedules, Public Relations professionals don’t always keep regular office hours. However, this does not mean we are at your beck and call nights and weekends. Everyone needs time off and regular office hours to maintain peak performance.
The ROI of Relationships
What’s a relationship worth?
Yes, there are formulas and forecasts calculating costs of acquisition, retention and replacement of customers and employees. But let me ask you something . . . what’s the ROI of your relationship with your significant other, parents, kids, best friend or pet? They are priceless.
Relationships aren’t a line item.
Relationships, like trust, take time to build. You wouldn’t walk up to someone and propose marriage the first time you meet. Please don’t expect to secure long-term customers, employees, donors or volunteers overnight.
Gimmicks and games might result in quick, short-term gains but they will never last. Would you enter in to a relationship that started out by someone tricking you to get in the door?
In turn, just because Public Relations professionals have relationships with journalists does not mean that they will publish a release or write a story every time we send them something. Don't put all your stories in one medium. While securing coverage on TV and radio or a story in a newspaper or magazine adds credibility, you can’t always count on getting traditional press. By posting on your website, social media, YouTube and blogs you become your own multi-media mogul. You have the power of print, video and the Internet at your fingertips.
If you’re ready to share your story, build your brand and create lasting business relationships with customers, employees and your community, let's connect.