1. Cultivate Third-party Endorsement
Its said that advertising is what you say about yourself or organization, but that PR is what others say about you. PR has the power to create positive word of mouth and influence referrals and recommendations. This good buzz can increase sales, encourage acceptance of change and attract investors.
2. Foster Awareness
PR tactics inform, educate and, in turn, increase awareness of your organization or products. Whether your focus is a new product rollout, fundraising effort or stock offering, public relations has the power to impart complex information and rapidly spur awareness, acceptance and increased sales.
3. Encourage Employee Enthusiasm
Employees, regardless of job function, can and should be the best PR ambassadors for your organization. Properly encouraged and informed, your people play a key role in molding your image and propelling your organization forward. Ignored, youve simply missed an important opportunity; cultivated, you can reap improved morale and increased productivity.
4. Provide a Heads Up!
Regardless of which target group you focus on, PR research tactics including both competitive intelligence and Internet information gathering techniques can help you anticipate important issues and concerns. The sooner you are aware of dissatisfaction or threat of any kind, the better you can respond strategically.
5. Improve Things Overall
Just as PR research tactics can effectively identify or anticipate problems, they can also identify targets of opportunity. Feedback provides insight into new markets, highlights trends regarding new products or features desired, and provides suggestions to improve existing products, services or methods.
6. Minimize Damage
PR offers an effective framework for responding to an unexpected event, such as a disaster or attack of any kind. By taking a proactive stance, you can protect your organizations position, retain support of key publics and maintain business as usual with little or no downtime.
7. Provide Executive Perspective
Public relations helps senior management maintain a fresh, enlightened viewpoint about their organization. Objective research and counsel from outside the firm guards against tunnel vision and executive isolation. In turn, the CEO and other senior management can understand whats really happening in the market.
8. Cause Positive Change
No one wants to change, despite the fact that change is the one constant in the world. PR tools provide ways to overcome natural resistance, promote a smooth transition and provide information and reassurance to affected publics. Cushioning change with positive PR tactics helps avert downtime and negative impact to your organization.
9. Do Good Deeds
When working closely in the public eye, your reputation often depends on your interest and involvement in key issues of social concern. PR can help identify these issues and create a successful strategy of response. This can include support of public interest projects through sponsorship, volunteerism and contributions.
10. Eliminate Political Barriers
PR can influence policy in the public sector or among special interest groups in the community. Through public involvement, coalition building, lobbying and grassroots campaigns, you can win approval to enhance your organizations mission and continued success.
There you have them. Now its time to put PR to work for your organization. The only thing left to do is to apply measurement standards to your PR efforts, but thats a topic for another article.
About the author:
Maggie Chamberlin Holben, owner of Denver-based Absolutely Public Relations, is accredited by the Public Relations Society of America and is a member of its Counselors Academy. In addition she was recently certified as an Industry Analyst Relations Practitioner. Specializing in media relations, Holben has taught both advertising and PR on the university level. She currently owns and operates PublicRelationsNewsroom.com, Online-Presskit.com, Expert411.com and DenverPRNewsroom.com. National placements include Inc., More and Entrepreneur magazines, USA Today, First For Women and Redbook. Go to www.absolutelypr.com for additional information.
© 2003 Absolutely Public Relations and Maggie Chamberlin Holben, APR. All Rights Reserved.