Updated: Sep 9, 2021
More often than not, people do not know what public relations (PR) is, why they need it, or the golden question - when they need it. Public relations is a marketing strategy that bridges the trust gap between a business and its target clients, customers, or audiences. It helps increase credibility within their given industry and increases their overall reputation.
Just think about it, when you see someone featured in Forbes magazine, they might instantly be thought of as an industry leader. Or for our Millennials and Gen Z’s out there, think of it as a blue checkmark to verify an account. Either way, there’s added credibility that is a bit impressive without even knowing who that person or business is.
Now that the question of what is public relations and why it’s necessary is out of the way, we have just one thing to answer: When do public relations come into play in your business? It’s a bit complex. Some people need it right away for damage control and others can do without it for a few years into starting a new business. However, when it comes time to look into the world of PR, there are some things to consider.
In order to show that you are prepared and ready to be a PR client to any agency, you will want to have these 3 key things in order as it will set a solid foundation for press opportunities.
In today’s digital age, your social media is one of the first places your audience will go to learn more about you and your business (even before your website). So, it’s important to be on the necessary platforms where your target audiences are. For example, if you’re targeting Millennials and Gen Z’s you should be on TikTok, but if you’re targeting more Gen X and Baby Boomers, then Facebook is your best bet. Either way, having a consistent and impactful presence on social media is key.
It isn’t enough to just be on social media. You need to create content that is valuable and timely to your audience. If all you do is promote your business once a month, media outlets might get the impression that you aren’t credible and you’re untrustworthy - making it more difficult to have a successful press run. Remember, public relations is just as timely as social media, once a trend or news passes, so does the opportunity for you to be a part of the story being told. Once you get in the groove of perfecting your social media strategy, you can start thinking about public relations.
Right after your social media platform(s), you must have a website that holds more information about your business. Not just any website, a fully optimized website that offers an experience to the visitor. It should be a mixture of entertaining and informative with some interactive elements that leave a lasting impression. Take a look around on the People’s Revolt’s website and you might get a feel for what we’re talking about.
Having an up-to-date, fully functional website is important because it’s often than not the second place media outlets will go to find more information about you. They might have additional questions outside of the information that was provided to them. If they find it confusing or hard to navigate, they’ll assume it will be just as confusing and hard for their audiences to do the same. This leads to a lack of credibility and prevents media outlets from covering your business.
A Story to Tell or News to Share
You don’t need PR if you don’t have any information to share with the public. So, be sure to have an insightful story or valuable news to share. This is where you have to (sort of) pitch yourself to a PR agency.
Take time to think about what this is for you. It could be a new product you created as a solution to a current problem, your purpose behind starting a business, or how your TikTok challenge went viral. The possibilities are endless. Just understand that as long as you are passionate about what you have to offer - there’s always something to share. Don’t worry about all the details or how it will translate to the media, that’s the publicist’s responsibility.
BONUS: Press / Media Kit
A press/media kit isn’t a make or break when seeking public relations, however, it is necessary before the campaign begins. This kit holds a good amount of information that the media will need in order to cover your story or news. It usually contains a press release, media-approved photos and videos, a one-sheeter, and supplemental materials to increase the value of your campaign. A publicist will be able to create one for you if you don’t have one already, but it’s nice to have a foundation to start with. Think of it as adding credibility to yourself as a client in the eyes of a potential publicist.
We hope this mini-list helps you out along your journey to the world of PR - enter wisely and strategically.
If you need consulting or help with your public relations efforts, People's Revolt offers many PR services that can help grow brand awareness, create beneficial relationships, and increase sales. Let's revolt against the norm together!