What is Good Public Relations?
Updated: Oct 2, 2019
A hungry public relations agency will say yes to anything. Small business owners or sole-practitioners have to ask: 1. Do I know my segmented consumer profiles? 2. Do I have a quality branded product or service? 3. Is my business model scalable?
Public relations activities can create windfalls for any size company. Success depends on answering yes to the three questions above. With savvy public relations services, you can expect media attention to trickle in by two weeks and gain waterfall force within six months.
Public relations is powerful and quantifiable. Before a practitioner writes a compelling pitch and compiles a targeted media outlet pitch list, s/he will have configured Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager to prove a Return-On-Investment (ROI) - a baseline summary report. If you plan to spend $5,000 on PR, insist on this quantifiable report each month. If you enter a retainer agreement, ask that part of the retainer be used for a laser-focused primary market research study. Exact consumer profiles drive sales.
If you don't ask for a baseline summary report and market study, your money will be used on loose media targeting and content editing.
Things to consider before doing public relations
Consider your segmented consumer profiles. Media outlets will cover any size company that accurately aligns the social value of a brand story to their loyal readers, listeners, or viewers' interests, attitudes, and behaviors.
Your website, social media, email platforms, and historical sales data shows ~60% of what you need to align with media outlets. If you want to get the accuracy up to 90% you can purchase data appends from a company like Experian, Nielsen, or InfoUSA. They'll use the email addresses, names, and whatever information you have to create accurate profiles. If you don't have any data to start, wait until you have ~1,000 page views on your website and rely on Google Analytics. Generate website traffic with $2.00-a-day Ads on Facebook and Twitter. The analytics from the three platforms will provide ~ 70% consumer profile accuracy.
Next is the brand quality of your product or service. If your brand doesn't project online confidence, a mature public relations practitioner will offer advice and wait on pitching the press. S/he will not risk their reputation with the media.
Finally, consider your business model capabilities. If you're a small company with 1-10 employees, you need to know your maximum sales capacity. Once PR activities are in motion, you need to be ready to scale your infrastructure and supply channels while maintaining quality. You also need to allocate time for increased inquiries and requests for interviews.
What are the indirect benefits of public relations?
Keep in mind, PR is not lead generation. PR is brand awareness to fulfill marketing strategy. A typical marketing budget is 5% of annual sales. Of that 5%, PR gets 1%. Unlike directly trackable paid advertising with landing pages, PR indirectly assists marketing efforts by raising brand awareness and moving consumers towards product or service evaluations. It's like PR passing the baton in a team race. Marketing receives the baton and moves consumers through the sales funnels.
What makes public relations campaigns successful?
It's all technique. Large PR firms protect clients' retainers by integrating primary market research insights into content and campaigns. Companies like Ogilvy, Edelman, Cohn & Wolfe, and H+K Strategies have primary market research teams on staff that segment consumers into buying profiles (interests, attitudes, and behaviors) for clear message targeting. On the other hand, ~ 85% of small PR firms rely on secondary market research reports and A/B and multivariate testing. This approach is costly and takes too much time. #PublicRelations, #SmallBusinessOwners #BrandAwareness