Here at Victory Public Relations, an agency that specializes in working with experts in the health and beauty space, we spend a lot of time chatting with people about public relations. The thing about PR is that everyone has heard of it but surprisingly few people understand it - a misunderstanding that often leaves people confused about how PR can work for their brand and in the worst cases, disillusioned with public relations as a whole. The truth is that public relations is a powerful tool for anyone looking to build their business as long as they invest wisely and with the right partner.
Here are a few questions to ask yourself:
Do I understand what PR is? This is basic, but so essential. I have witnessed firsthand people invest in PR despite not fully understanding how it works - most often confusing it with advertising. Here’s the deal: at its core, public relations is the practice of building a reputation through earned media exposure. That means publicists pitch stories to editors, producers, and writers with the intention of securing media coverage for their clients. Like most industries, PR is constantly evolving. Today social media, events, appearances and influencer relationships also play a prominent role in PR.
What is the PR product? Most people assume the placements that come as a result of their PR campaign are the entire point of that campaign. While they are incredibly powerful and super exciting, the reality is that those placements are just the very tip of the iceberg. The work a publicist does to identify the client's brand message, and then to spread that word among influential media members is an essential part of building a strong reputation. The third part of the PR puzzle is putting the secured media placements to work.
Do I have reasonable expectations about what a public relations campaign will do for me? First and foremost, it ensures that the people who write about and cover your field know who you are and what you do. Once a strong strategy is put together and executed, a sustained public relations campaign ensures that you are represented in the media. That media exposure (in magazines, newspapers, blogs, television shows, etc) will lend credibility to your name, eventually impacting consumers. It will also help you gain prominence within your field of expertise.
How long does it take? There are both short term and long term goals defined in a public relations campaign. The best publicists will ensure that they deliver on both but the real work of building a reputation happens over a period of time. The best bet here is to speak openly with the pr expert you’ve hired. Asking questions about what to expect in the short term (daily, weekly, and monthly basis) will help you better understand whether pursuing the long term benefits of a public relations campaign is something you’re comfortable with.
Public relations is an important part of every marketing strategy. The key to getting the most out of yours is understanding the essentials, ensuring that you and your publicist are on the same page regarding expectations, and maintaining an open line of communication.