Any PR team worth its salt should be first focused on getting under the skin of your business. To understand who you are and what you stand for, who you want to engage with, what you want them to do, and what your ultimate commercial goals are. If they don’t do that, how can they possibly ensure that you’re communicating the right messages to the right people in the right way?
Once you’ve identified the ‘who’ and the ‘why’, only then can you develop a comprehensive communications strategy that is going to support you in achieving those goals. And any strategy that you develop should absolutely be a fluid one that you evolve, refine, and adapt in line with your business needs, your customer needs, and the wider commercial world.
When we talk about strategy, we mean identifying those communications tactics that are going to have the most impact at that particular time – we call these our ‘five pillars of PR’.
- Digital and Social | consider all of the blogs, forums, groups, and social media platforms that your avatars can and will connect with. Connect, develop, and share value – whether that’s giving advice and guidance, answering questions, or sharing killer content which will make readers sit up and take notice
- Direct | taking communication from a one-to-many model to a one-to-one model can be hugely powerful. Whether it’s hard copy or electronic, part of a lumpy mail promotion or a straightforward letter approach, if you get the message and the language right, it can achieve some awesome results
- Experiential | helping someone to live and breathe your brand doesn’t have to mean PR stunts and showcases, it can be as simple as helping them physically experience your keynote, or a snippet of it. We’ve had great success with on-stage presentations, fringe events, and video messaging, as well as with some of the more Virgin-worthy headline grabbers!
- Advocate and Affiliate | your avatars, the clients most important to you and your business, are already engaged and warmly connected with other people and businesses. And if you can connect with those businesses too, then there’s an easy introduction waiting to happen. Make sure that the organisations or people are completely non-competitive, that they’re allied at least a little (so that the introduction makes sense) and that they share similar values and ethos to you.
- Traditional PR | this is absolutely where TV, radio, magazines and newspapers do come in. But why not take it above simple press releases and look at interview and profile opportunities, offer comment on areas that you’re an expert in and which link to your talks, or try and get a by-lined article in a core title. It’s a great way to show rather than simply tell that you’re great at what you do.