How can Internet PR change your business scope?
A technique that can elevate your business’s publicity and credibility throughout all media is called Public Relations. Even though PR is the only tool that can apply outside the marketing sphere (as PR’s goals do not aim always for profit eg in politics) a holistic approach can turn to be very expensive and time consuming.
Prsa.org has defined the practice as such: “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
In a world where people can communicate through hundreds of traditional and internet media, the marketing mix’s differences have become more blurry than ever. A campaign on Facebook can not be easily distinguished as advertising or PR because it borrows elements from both. As agencies invest on boosting their messages to mass audiences (advertising prerequisite), liking and sharing them is more of a PRish action.
Therefore there are two ways to define the approach we follow.
- By the action itself
- By the audience we address and the way we use it
These two imply that first, certain actions are categorised as PR or advertising functions by default and second the message communicated is to be delivered by some opinion leader (PR), the organization itself (advertising) or by some random person who we pay to speak for us (Both but more advertising oriented)? At this point we should mention that real world PR has more applications than digital or so it seems.
A PR oriented agency’s catalogue of services will often display special event arrangements, production of media kits, news conferences, crisis communication management, news releases, sponsorships, CSR programs, strategic alliances building, testimonials and some web based applications eg external website linking, blogging. Therefore we can safely conclude that the price of a PR package purchased can either be very cheap to quite an extravagant one.
Ok got it, but… what will my SMB or startup gain by exploiting these sweeties? The reason for PRing is mainly to affect attitudes through people or organizations that the public trusts or at least behave positively towards them. Holding a positive attitude towards a business increases the customer’s likelihood to fall in love with an organization or more simply build on attitudinal loyalty. This implies that your client (not customer anymore) will purchase from you all along the time continuum. See why PR is important? It does not increase your sales simply and quickly. It imposes to the customer to shape a consistent view on your organization, purchase (behave) and if satisfied will become a repetitive client.
The process in which we work on enhancing your public involves:
Identification of any media that will serve your purpose on an optimised state. Which channels could promote you best?
After a long listing of the potential websites and social platforms, we set together the marketing objectives for accomplishment. This stage should be an accurate designing of 100% measureable and easily evaluated goals.
By examining the digital personas to reach we conduct a small piece of research and set the quantity and quality measures of the target publics.
In the next stage we identify influential people by filtering the channels of the first step. The hard job starts now as we need to convince those influencers to amplify our message.
Having all the steps documented and by utilising some standard marketing models we develop the message strategy and manage general campaign weaknesses.
Following the message strategy, we develop the final message and pass it to you for final approvement and identify any weakness. This process is called message testing.
We publish the message or the series of messages as set in the timetable and we keep in touch with our influencers on a standard basis to build good relationship with them. At this point the job of PR practitioners involves hours of reading and responding to negative feedback as well (remember that the PR team of an organization acts as a corporate journalist).
In the end, evaluation process shows if we’ve done an effective work. If not we keep challenging our PR plan at any point of the procedure or else we set new goals if the expectation have been met.
You don’t need to own a large corporation to exploit the power of PR tool. If this job is done well, and you serve your clients equally well, you should expect repetitive customers and a Word of Mouth effect like no other.