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How is PR like a banana?

By Noell Ochieng

4 ways to ensure your public relations is working

PR is closer to bananas than you think.

A banana is more than a tasty addition to your cereal. It’s a perfect metaphor for what makes successful public relations.

1. You must attract attention.

Amid a bowl full of round oranges, round apples and round grapes, the banana has an unusual shape, and it’s a bright, noisy yellow. Your news releases, pitches and even social media have to stand out. What will it take to make your PR different? How do you attract attention and inspire curiosity from someone who hasn’t considered your client before?

2. You must time it right.

There’s an art to knowing when to eat a banana. Too green, and it’s bitter. Too ripe, and it falls apart in your hand. However, when you time it right, it’s perfect. The news cycle is always changing and responding to the world around us, so how can you be sure your PR is timely? Be prepared. Know what others are offering in your arena, pushing in development circles, discussing in the undercurrent of social media chatter – and how your client’s message fits into those driving forces. You have to know what constitutes a good environment for your message and be ready to move on it when the time is right.

3. You need substance.

The banana delivers. It’s filled with vitamins and fiber. And, at a little more than 100 calories, it makes for a satisfying and healthy snack. In order for your message to matter to the reader, it needs to bring value to the table. The product or service should fill a need, and your writing needs to make it clear to the reader. To do that, you need to be an expert on your client’s product and break it down into elements that matter to your reader. Using our banana metaphor, the nutritional information may matter less to one group of readers than knowing the fruit was responsibly sourced and grown in chemical-free conditions. Know your audiences and what they need from your message.

4. You should be adaptable.

If you miss the window of banana perfection, all hope is not lost. You can freeze it and later use it in smoothies or banana bread. Sometimes, things don’t go as you planned. The timing may be off or the product may have flaws. How will you adapt to salvage your message? When events beyond your control happen (e.g., an unfortunate quote from an executive now making the social media rounds, a customer service blowout streaming live, a faulty component requiring immediate fix), how should you respond? At times, you may need to take apart what you thought you had and repack it in an entirely new way.

Want to be sure your PR firm is providing the best value? Contact Axia Public Relations today or download our complimentary e-book “Maximizing Your Public Relations Investment” to learn more.

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Clients love Noell’s high tech PR and instructional design experience. She earned her Master of Science in information technology management and business analytics from University of North Carolina. Noell has worked with Axia since November 2017.

Topics: public relations, PR tips, earned media

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