A Portrait of A Good PR Client — Part II, Being Realistic About Communications Results and Timing
You may offer an excellent product or service and have thousands of satisfied customers. However, this does not mean your story belongs (or that you want it to appear) on the “Today” show or front page of The Wall Street Journal.
Like all business practices, PR programs must be strategic. Once you have determined your communications objectives (see A Portrait of a Good PR Client – Part 1, Understanding You Goals), the PR team can analyze the best way to reach your target audiences and influencers.
For example, let’s say you manufacture glow in the dark snow boots. Certainly a fairly unique item that would get the attention of media. But consider your goals. Are you looking for investors or trying to sell your company? Or is your primary objective to increase sales among women. If it’s the latter, although a business story in The Wall Street Journal may be impressive, it likely won’t reach the target audience that will generate sales.
You also need to consider your capabilities. While a segment on “Today” would expose your product to a large number of consumers, you must evaluate if you have the bandwidth to respond to a significant increase in demand. Remember, “satisfied customers” is one of your selling points – don’t damage your reputation because you can’t fulfill orders.
Look to your PR agency to identify the most effective way to engage your customers. To reach your niche target market, our efforts would include tapping into consumer magazines, newspapers and news programs, as well as online and social media opportunities that focus on relevant audiences (e.g., Women’s Health, OutsideMom.com, Colorado Snow). A focused approach will lead to results that are strategically aligned with your business plan!
Now that you’ve accepted it may be a waste of your time to sit down for a one-on-one with Oprah, you should understand how time – and timing – influence PR. Many media outlets, even some online news sites and daily papers, work weeks or even months in advance of publication. For instance, a member of our team scored a great product review in one of the country’s leading daily newspapers in January 2012 – it took a year from pitch to placement!
PR goals. Target audiences. Lead times. Rely on the experience and expertise of PR professionals for developing a strategic communications plan that effectively incorporates these factors. And we’ll leave the glow-in-the-dark snowboot creations to you!