Creating a Sustainable PR Strategy

4 May 2018 9:04am

It's not enough to only score Public Relations victories when there is a new product to promote or a major news event to tie into. Keeping excitement for a brand at a simmering level for a long time keeps companies in touch with news providers and the public at large, and there are plenty of actions PR departments and agencies can take to maintain a presence.

Maintaining a PR presence over time is important because sometimes there just isn't a major internal announcement or external event to piggyback messaging on. It's hard to predict how long these fallow periods will last, so it's much better to have a sustainable PR strategy in place, one that will keep evolving over time rather than burning out and having to build up from nothing when it's time to make a splash.

PR that Suits Business Goals
Instead of running an opportunistic PR strategy that only ramps up during new product launches or major media frenzies, it's better to create a strategy that responds to a constant stream of goals provided by the business's leaders. According to Business.com, there should be strong ties in place between overall objectives and PR activity.

When companies are pursuing a certain kind of growth - whether that means targeting a specific audience, growing a customer base or any other type of expansion - PR can be used as a tactical asset. Business.com added that PR success today can also come from close integration with the marketing team.

What should marketers and PR professionals collaborate on? According to the source, the type of content generated by modern marketers makes great fodder for PR campaigns. Pushing high-quality content out through media channels can create a reputation for thought leadership, and in a world where consumers are making decisions about what companies to work with, this is an overall aid to the brand.

Following up on the above strategy, leveraging marketing department content creation and thought leadership as fuel for PR outreach and releases gives departments the ability to keep up constant contact and strong ties with outlets, even between news cycles that affect the brand.

Expanding Channels and Reach
There are many ways to gradually expand a PR strategy and try out new tactics between major events, and they tend to contribute to better overall results over time. PRWeek recently listed some of the takeaways from industry insiders speaking at the news source's annual conference, and they included exciting new ways to improve a department's performance gradually and over time.

For example, it's always a good time to try out a new communication platform. Experimenting with new ways to spread branded messages means ensuring that no opportunity for engagement slips through the cracks. At the conference, GE communications officers explained that the rewards of discovering a valuable new platform outweigh the danger of ending up at a dead end. If a PR strategy feels stagnant or like it's in a holding pattern, it may be time to add a new channel.

The PRWeek conference also yielded evidence that the model of marketing departments and PR teams working closely in concert is being widely accepted throughout the industry. Organizations are realizing the value proposition of PR at the highest levels and giving departments more responsibility and leeway. This means it's time to step up and provide consistent value with this newfound power.

PR for All Seasons
PR leaders can always have an impact on an organization's public image and perception. The actions they take between major campaigns and product launches can be transformative in their own way and are worth extra consideration and support from all levels of the organization. Becoming the creative face of the company is a heavy, worthwhile responsibility.

Departments that succeed in these objectives will likely have the right tools for the job. If leaders are unable to monitor their own outreach efforts or industry talk in general, they may end up making missteps or unforced errors during their efforts to reach out.

Intelligence systems should encompass all channels, new and old, due to the fact that the news cycle today has many facets. Just as they should reach out on more platforms, leaders should keep many different outlets under constant observation.

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