Organizations use public relations strategies to increase brand awareness, build trust with the public and improve their reputation. Understanding the different types of public relations strategies available will help you get better results from the strategies you decide to use.
In this article, we define public relations strategies, provide a list of some effective methods and offer tips to guide you.
What are public relations strategies?
Public relations strategies are the collection of methods an organization uses to help it move from its current situation to its end goal, which can include gaining publicity, growing its customer base or improving its reputation. These methods help a company organize its public relations efforts to attract its target audience and identify ways to reach its goals during the planning stage. They’re similar to marketing strategies because the primary goal is to spread brand awareness.
Public relations strategies also can be useful in crisis management situations because it allow organizations to respond to a negative situation and try to develop a possible outcome from it. A good strategy can help companies increase their reputation if they overcome a negative situation. Businesses often rely on outlets, such as media sources, blogs, social media or podcasts, to help them deliver messages for these strategies to a wider audience. PR professionals group these into three categories, which are:
Owned media: This includes any outlets a company owns and operates, such as a blog, social media sites or video channels.
Earned media: This refers to any content a third party creates about a brand or company without being paid to do so, such as online reviews, social media posts or word-of-mouth recommendations
Paid media: This is any type of media a company pays for to increase its reach or exposure, such as advertisements, sponsored posts or influencer content.
8 strategies for effective public relations
Here are some examples of public relations strategies businesses use to improve their standing in an industry:
1. Know your audience
The most effective PR plans often succeed because they target a clearly defined audience. Try to create content that relates in some way to your audience. Another important aspect of this is knowing where to reach your audience. This can be in person, such as at events, or online, like on social media accounts.
2. Use research and data
One way to ensure your strategies have a positive impact on your target audience is by using thorough research and data to identify the most effective ways to reach them. You also can use data to analyze previous campaigns and determine ways to improve your strategy. For example, you can look at figures showing how much your social media exposure increased and identify the most effective parts of your social media strategy. Then, you can focus on those in your next campaign to try to increase your exposure.
3. Embrace the internet
Being active online is one of the most common ways brands communicate with their target audience, and many public relations specialists use social media as the primary form of this. On these platforms, they can include summarized information for followers to read and share with others. The internet also allows companies to reach out to consumers and resolve crises in real time. Companies often rely on social media listening tools to help them monitor what people are saying online about their brand, which can help them identify improvement opportunities more quickly.
4. Find partners
Strategic partnerships involve working together with a similar company to help increase brand awareness. Another way to do this is by collaborating with a social media influencer or earning a celebrity endorsement. These individuals have audiences for a niche group that can help expand your audience and give you third-party credibility.
5. Create compelling content
When targeting a specific audience, it’s important to create content you tailor to them and that creates a reaction from them. Learning your audience’s wants, needs, feelings and values can help you create content that targets them and connects with their ideals. Whether this is telling a story they can relate to or providing a unique solution to their problem, ensuring your content is unique and specific to your audience can help you build a strong relationship.
6. Be inclusive
Although target markets are segmented populations, there’s still often a lot of diversity within them. Having a PR strategy that is inclusive to your entire market can help you relate better with them and increase your brand’s reputation. Similarly, being active in your community and connecting with its members can let you create more powerful partnerships and grow your brand.
7. Know your competition
In the same way, using research and data to learn from past campaigns can benefit a company, and so can researching its competition to understand what they’re doing well. Doing this can allow PR specialists to identify gaps in the market for their company to fill, whether by targeting a more specific demographic or using a new social media account for brand communication. Any sort of competitive advantage can yield large benefits for a brand and help it better establish itself.
8. Use local media
Most companies know which major and national media outlets can help them get the most exposure, so it can be more difficult to get an edge through that. However supplementing your media involvement to include regional or local sources your target audience follows and trusts can help you earn their trust and reach new segments of the market. If your message is compelling enough, national media might notice it and spread it, too.
Tips for using public relations strategies
To help your strategies gain more publicity and have a stronger impact on your customer base, consider following these tips:
Use humor: This can be a way to show your audience you care about their satisfaction more than completing a sale. It also can be a way to stand out from other messages because it’s a unique approach.
Enhance anticipation: When launching a new product, consider publicizing it early to enhance the anticipation. This could include running advertisements about what the product does, taking pre-orders, and getting email lists ready to get consumers excited before release.
Design a competition: Consider hosting a competition or contest to engage consumers. This can help build brand awareness and allow you to create more loyalty within your target market.
Create photo opportunities: Photos can help make your content more memorable, so consider capturing pictures at your next event. This can highlight your brand’s involvement in the community and help customers put a face to your brand’s name.
Remember the holidays: Consider supporting charities around the holidays because this is a time of year when people are full of goodwill. This can help create a great image for your company as being generous.
I hope you find this article helpful.