Moving ahead with a successful public relations initiative calls for an “all in” attitude. What does this require for the best results? Being honest about your organization, and being an active participant in the news and willing to be somewhat in the spotlight, for starters.
Here are some other truths to know when you are ready to leverage the power of public relations:
- Building a stronger organizational reputation requires honesty, not exaggeration. This means you need to convey as much accurate information about your company to the public relations experts as you can. You can admit your failures and the public relations pros can help you determine what's fit to disclose.
As you disclose such information (revenue, products, staff, head count, locations, etc.), it becomes publicly available to monitor and measure.
- Public relations professionals work best with a clear line of communication. If you hire a firm and then walk away, you’ll get nothing out of the experience and no return on investment. The communication in the initial months is fairly intense as the firm gets to know your business (inside and out).
- Working with a public relations firm means it may want to know about your employees, your business objectives and the culture you have formed at your organization. Public relations professionals will never say that they’ve been handed too much information. With comprehensive knowledge of your organization, they’ll know where to shine the spotlight and give your company an honest push toward a bigger and more effective public image.
- Even when you’ve hired a professional public relations firm to assist you, share your own ideas about how to improve your reputation. Most firms have a large bank of ideas from which to choose, and communicating ideas from the inside is always helpful.
- One of the greatest outcomes we’ve seen for companies engaged in a public relations campaign – besides building a brand and creating a great reputation – is employees’ increased belief in what the organization is doing. When they start getting and reading the company’s news within community, business and industry trade media, they start getting more excited, motivated and loyal to their employers, and that leads to results. That’s because the energy and enthusiasm of employees toward the services or goods they’re providing can be game-changing fuel for the bottom line and also for a public relations campaign.
- Companies going through a leadership transition may have difficulty effectively communicating. If you have an existing PR firm working with you, this is actually a good time to bump up the level of communication about what’s going on in the transition.
In summary, don’t neglect the power of public relations (and earned media coverage (news)) you can achieve with a good, working public relations relationship. Remember that experienced and ethical PR professionals will be truthful about their firms’ capabilities, as you should be as the client. There needs to be a thorough understanding of what the goals are, and when this happens, you’re in a better position to see success.
Ideally, you as a client should have solid trust in your PR professional. This means the lasting benefits of smart PR will be exciting, achievable and so important you’ll wonder how you survived without them.
By Jason Mudd, APR
Jason Mudd, APR, is the CEO of Axia Public Relations and an Emmy-Award-winning accredited public relations practitioner, speaker, author and entrepreneur. His public relations portfolio includes work for established national brands such as American Airlines, Dave & Buster’s, Florida Blue, H&R Block, Hilton, HP, Miller Lite, New York Life, Pizza Hut, Ray Charles and Verizon, as well as emerging brands like Brightway Insurance, Pragmatic Works and It Works! Global.