These are exciting times for public relations. With the rise of social media communications and the integration with digital marketing, PR is becoming more than before a strategic business function.
Public relations professionals are often required to demonstrate how PR adds value at board level and what strategy to follow to enhance brand reputation and visibility, especially online.
Here you can find some key elements to consider to make PR more strategic in your organisation and what tools and resources your can use to make that happen.
Strategic Public Relations
Strategic public relations focus on the long-term organisational objectives that are often about enhancing brand reputation and brand identity and develop goodwill among the key stakeholders.
Strategic public relations are by choice non-tactical, focused on opportunities that may come from your target audience, building relevant relationships with your leadership team and senior stakeholders, and are often aligned with the financial objectives of the organisation, being able to provide measurements and demonstrate the return on the investment.
focus on brand reputation and brand identity;
strategy rather than tactic opportunities rather than risks;
focus on financial objectives measurement of ROI;
long-term rather than short-term.
For your strategy to be effective your PR team needs to identify your relevant audience before you start communicating.
This strongly depends on the type of messaging you are delivering and on your organisation's objectives.
From a strategic point of view your key stakeholders include both members of your organisation, the media and society at large.
A list of relevant stakeholders to consider for your strategy PR is provided here:
your company's senior management
your potential clients
media outlets: online, trade or mainstream
bloggers and thought leaders
social media influencers
social media followers
awards and event organisers
online forums and wikis
society at large
The media landscape has drastically change. All you say can be used on print, online and social media channels.
Media training is becoming essential for strategic PR teams and can help organisations develop and deliver their key messages, identify the more credible spokespeople, position their brands effectively across various media outlets and approach pr in a more proactive way.
There are key elements in media training, some are listed here:
preparation of media Q&As
drafting key messages for your organisation
mock video and audio interviews with your senior management team and company spokespeople
preparation of your media briefing book
managing crisis scenarios
managing social media communications scenarios
responding to negative coverage
For the implementation of your strategic PR plan you need to obtain buy-in from your board members and a partner that can guide you for as long as you need it.