Public Relations Strategy
No one wants to live in the public eye. If you have a company you are probably in the same boat. You most likely do not want your company to be scrutinized by the media and the press, and you don't want to have any problems to deal with. However, if you do not need a public relations strategy, it means that your company is not well known, and if your company is not well known it means that you are not reaching enough people. Therefore, it should be your goal to be well known enough to have people talk about you, and therefore to need a public relations strategy.
If you have a company, you want people to know your name and to know what you are up to. However, recognition comes with media attention as well as public attention. The inexperienced business owner or civilian can make a mess of themselves in the public eye, simply because they do not know how to act or what to say in order to carry themselves positively.
A public relations strategy can help you avoid any mistakes or missteps that you might make in the public eye. This is a strategy that can take you as a person or you as a company and paint you in a positive light for the media and the public. A public relations strategy can also take any negative things that might have happened and turn them into something positive. A PR specialist can make anything look good, and can therefore make you look good in any situation. Therefore, having your own public relations strategy is always a good thing.
Building your own public relations strategy is something that can be done in several parts. When you are finished with the process, you should be able to have a favorable opinion of your company to present to the public, and you should look good in everyone's eyes. It is important that your public relations strategy is complete and that it follows all of these steps.
A good public relations strategy will incorporate all of the stages of this process. First, you must control any negative images. Secondly, you must build the image that you want, and thirdly, you must get a handle on anything negative that happens without letting it spiral out of control.
First of all, you must examine yourself or your company and see if there are any negative images that are associated with you. Have you had any bad press, or has anyone said anything negative about you in public? Are there certain areas of your company that people like to gossip about or that people speculate about? If there are areas in your company or personal history that are shady or that are negative, this is the first step in your public relations strategy.
You need to take any negative images that might be out there of you and clean them up. This means that if you are seen in a negative fashion for any reason, you need to start being seen in a more positive way. For instance, if the public believes that you are a stingy company, you need to be seen giving money to charity or donating your time to others. If your company is seen as having secrets, you need to do things in the public eye in order to be seen as open and as disclosing everything. The simple way to look at this type of public relations strategy is to take any negative images of you and do the opposite in the public eye.
The second part of the public relations strategy is building an image. What types of things do you want to be seen as doing? What kind of name and image do you want to have in the public eye? You need to consider what things you want to be known for, and then you need to begin to do them. If you want to be seen as a charitable company, do some charity work. If you want to be seen as a company that cares for others, choose some volunteer activities that will make people see you as this type of company. Building your own image in the public eye is the part of the public relations strategy that is most important.
In order to build your image, you must first choose a few key areas where you want to be seen as strong. Do not try to do everything that you can do to look good in the public's eye because the public is very smart and will see that you are only doing these things to get a good image. Instead, choose a few key areas that you would like to focus on. Then, you can do good and quality work in these areas in order to make yourself look good in the eyes of others.
The third part of your public relations strategy should be a plan to deal with things that come up. Companies that have a good image and have fixed all of their negative images in the past will still have to deal with the unexpected things that come up. You might be caught dealing with a person who has a negative view in the media. Or, someone who works for you might be caught stealing or drinking and driving. People make mistakes, and people mess up. This means that your public relations strategy needs to include ways to deal with these things before they can become major problems.
First of all, your PR specialist should be aware that he or she is always going to be at work. When an emergency comes up, the media and public will need a comment right away. The longer you wait, the bigger deal the entire thing can get to be in the eyes of the public. Therefore, your own specialist should be ready to go to work as soon as something negative happens. A good PR specialist will have strategies ready and waiting to use for dealing with each of the particular emergencies that might come up within your business or your company.
In today's digital age, an online public relations strategy is also an important thing for you to have. There is always a lot of talk that is going on online, and with all of the places for people to discuss things, rumors and negative images can spread very rapidly. Therefore, you need an online public relations strategy to curb this negative energy.
Your PR specialist should hire someone who will do weekly Internet searches for your name or the name of your company. When anything negative is found, it should be recorded, researched, and then rebutted. Your PR specialist should make this part of the public relations strategy of the company. Do not make the mistake in thinking that online gossip will not turn out to be much more serious. Many of the major news organizations get some of their ideas from online sources. Blogs, website posts, and other places on the web can be breeding grounds for rumors or speculation, and you cannot afford to let any of this go without comment.
It is also important to know where these things are coming from as you are trying to rebut them online. There are many sites that are legitimate and might cause you trouble. However, there are also sites that are not legitimate, which means that you should ignore anything they have to say. Part of the job of your PR specialist should be to figure out which of these sites are warranted and which are not.
An offline public relations strategy can be easy to control, because your PR specialist can work with the local media as well as the local affiliations of the national media in order to help you with your image and to debunk any rumors that might crop up. Offline strategies can be easier because they are not like online strategies, which have to deal with ever-growing numbers of places for information. With offline public relations, you can deal with the networks or papers that you know and trust, and you know which of them shouldn't be a problem.
Your offline public relations strategy also needs to include statements that are given in front of the cameras or to the newspapers. Therefore, your PR specialist should be sure that they have a clear and confident speaking voice and are able to speak in situations that might come up. Statements and reactions are the biggest part of the offline public relations strategy, so your strategy should be planned according to that.
The day to day media, whether it is offline or online, should also be considered when you are planning your public relations strategy. You should have an employee who watches each of these day to day media outlets for anything regarding your company name. If something is said or written about your company, your PR specialist should be notified right away, so that a statement or comment can be made and delivered if needed. Ignoring the day to day media can be a major mistake when it comes to public relations because a story that goes for several days without comment can quickly become much more than it started out as.
No matter how great your public relations specialist is, or how wonderful your PR plan might be, there will always be mistakes. Your PR rep might accidently make an untrue statement about you or your company, or might fail to comment on something that ends up being very important. Therefore, you must always be concerned with mistakes that happen within your public relations strategy, and how to deal with them.
Mistakes within your public relations strategy should be treated in much the same way you would deal with an emergency in public relations. The person who made an untrue statement or who failed to give out the right information should make a statement, telling the public that they made a mistake. This should be done openly and honestly, and should leave no room for speculation on the part of the media or the public. It should be dealt with promptly.
One or two mistakes by a public relations specialist is nothing to fret about. However, if your PR specialist is always making these blunders and is being forced to make comment after comment retracting what he or she has said, it might be time to consider finding someone else to work with that won't make as many mistakes. Too many contradictions and retractions can hurt your image.
Don't make the mistake of thinking that you do not need a public relations strategy, no matter how big or small your business is. Information travels fast, and rumors and gossip travel even faster. Therefore, you need to have someone who can control these items before they hurt you. Your image is also an important thing to consider. It is crucial to your business and to your company that you have a positive image when it comes to the public. You want to be able to gain customers and to make your clients feel comfortable. For these two things, you need to have a positive image. A public relations strategy is the only way to make sure that you are able to get a positive image, and to keep your image that positive. Companies without public relations strategies are going to be much more likely to fail. Therefore, it is very important that you find not only a good strategy, but that you also find a PR specialist who is experienced, hard working, and committed.