To outsiders, PR often seems like magic. It’s true that experienced PR pros can pull a few strings, make a couple of calls, say the right thing, and voila, you’re featured on Oprah.com, The New York Times, Buzzfeed or whatever your dream publication is.
Behind-the-scenes, that’s not exactly how it works.
Whether you’re hiring an agency, executing a campaign internally or looking for a freelancer, there are three core elements to every successful PR program.
No matter how sophisticated our tools, technology and tactics get, relationships are critical.
Before clients hire us, we’re commonly asked “which media outlets do you have relationships with?” And while yes, a rolodex is important, what’s even more important is the ability to quickly develop new genuine relationships.
This requires a certain level of emotional intelligence, the ability to create value for others and excellent listening skills.
Beyond media outlets, the key types of relationships we establish for clients include influential people, like-minded business partners and the company’s larger community.
Without a compelling story, your PR program doesn’t exist. Your story combines who you are, what you do and why anyone should care.
When we’re creating a compelling brand story for clients, we consider a few key factors:
- The general conversation of their industry and how their product or service fits into it
- The problem they’re solving for their core target customer
- The current or upcoming culture trends and how we can leverage them for momentum
This is the it factor of any campaign. The experience component is 1) how you make someone feel about your brand and 2) giving them something to talk about.
If you want your company to:
- Have staying power
- Build trust with your customers
- Create a community of avid fans
Experience is the key. For clients, we often do this through experiential events, giving customers and clients the opportunity to touch, feel and get to know your products or services in-person. But you don’t have to host an event to create experience. It can be as simple as a fun element in your client onboarding or a surprise factor in packaging.
At the end of the day, no matter how complicated a PR strategy is, it all comes back to these three elements.