As a PR professional with almost 25 years of experience creating and executing successful communications strategies for my clients, I do feel it is my duty to address a big elephant in the room. Some of you may just not be ready for PR. And that is ok!
As with anything in life, just because you think you might be ready to do something–it does not mean that you should do it.
Let’s start with what PR is and what it is not. PR should be a critical component to your overall marketing mix, not just something that operates in a separate silo. You can not turn PR off and on at any time. This approach will not get you the results you want.
The right PR plan with the right financial investment and executive support can yield tremendous results for your company. But, if you don’t have these things in place, you’ll be wasting precious time and money.
Before you make the decision to include PR into your marketing strategy, I urge you to consider the following:
What are your PR goals?
Just like any part of your business, if you decide you want to focus on PR, it is critical to know what you want from your PR program.
Questions to consider include:
- What are your overarching PR goals? And how do they fit into your overall marketing strategy?
- Are you looking to secure your next round of funding? How will that contribute to your PR strategy?
- Do you want to promote your CEO as a thought leader and go-to resource? Or does your company need more overall brand awareness?
Whatever the answers are, PR always works best with clearly defined goals.
As a PR agency, we find that having clear goals allows us to recommend the best tactics – such as bylined articles, speaking engagements or rapid response pitching – to get your company in front of key stakeholders and influencers.
Without goals, your PR program will not be set up for long-term success.
Are you prepared to give your PR program the time it needs?
In a fast-paced world, we are all accustomed to getting the things we want immediately. (Thanks, Amazon!) But I’m here to tell you, if you don’t know already, PR does not and has never worked that way. Anyone that tells you differently is just selling you a bill of goods.
The benefits of PR accrue over time. Enhancing your company’s reputation doesn’t happen overnight.
When we first engage with a client, we always work to secure initial quick wins by leveraging our industry expertise and media relationships. But we are always upfront and transparent with our clients, especially when it comes to landing bigger top-tier stories.
You must trust in the process and know that with the right strategy and tactics in place, the stories will land, and you’ll be glad that you let PR do its job!
Is your ENTIRE team ready to commit to PR?
This might be the most important thing to consider when thinking about investing in PR. We look at PR as a team effort! If there are only one or two people in your organization that care and pay attention to the PR program, it is likely to be doomed from the start.
You need an internal champion for PR and a committed executive team.
I am a firm believer that a successful communications program requires buy-in from the executive level on down. When it comes to PR, your key executive spokespersons should have an understanding of what is expected of them.
BONUS TIP: I would also highly recommend involving your sales team as SME experts for your PR team. The more buy-in on you have from the right members of your organization, the more successful your PR efforts will be!
PR is worth the investment if you are ready and committed!
I’m not just drinking the PR Kool-Aid when I say that PR is most certainly worth the investment!
I’ve seen dozens and dozens of our clients utilize their PR programs with us in the right way, and it has landed them the end-results they were seeking. We’ve also talked to a ton of other companies, who we would have loved to work with, but ultimately recommended to them that a PR program is not a fit at that time.
When a company takes the time to “do the work” when it comes to PR, the ROI will make the marketing team look like heroes and will give your company the recognition and attention it deserves.
If you’re looking to build a high-impact, comprehensive PR program, the Ketner Group team would love connect! Download our Retail Tech PR Handbook to learn more about our best-practice approach to retail technology PR or schedule some time with us!