Public relations is not always complicated, but it does require a certain precision and ability to push the right buttons and say - exactly - the right things. These skills can be learned and can seem basic, but that is a trap many businesses fall into - especially those handling their own online brand management.
Then they wonder why their public relations situations never go as well as they should. With that in mind, here are five tips from Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, on the five most basic - and indispensable tenets of public relations.
#1 - Control the conversation
It's not enough to put the words out there, you need to know how to control the conversation (especially online) and the many smaller conversations that flow from it. This comes with very specific language and timing - a mix of psychology, art, and science that comes with training and experience.
#2 - Control the flow of information
Too many businesses make the mistake of crafting a decent release and just hitting send, hoping to get some results. A well-crafted press release is important, but it's really just the beginning. You need to grab and hold control of the conversation. Be the value that controls the flow, not the tap that just waits for someone to turn it on.
#3 - Get the most possible promotion to the right people
Don't just sent your release to anyone. You need to know who exactly the right person is. This can mean building relationships with opinion makers and gatekeepers. It can mean as much research time as writing time. Don't skip this step or you will get nothing for your work.
#4 - Increase your name recognition
One of the primary purposes of any PR campaign should be to increase name recognition. So avoid jargon and buzzwords. Speak clearly and describe simply. Give people words they can understand and repeat.
#5 - Gain new customers, clients, or fans
The end result of any press release should be a net gain. Your news may not always make everyone happy, but those who are excited should outnumber those who are not.
Now, these may seem like simple goals, but given the sheer scale of inept and pointless press releases that are dumped on media outlets each day, you would think these guidelines are the Holy Grail of unknowable knowledge. So, people, stop it. Send out good information that makes sense and watch it make news.
Or ignore these tips and keep wasting your time. After all, you knew this already...right?