Public relations will by and large help you try to and shape opinion with your audience and key stakeholders from time to time. It’s a long-drawn process and the process of building a good reputation for a brand will take time. One should have a strong self-belief in PR when you use this communication tool. Some of the best technology brands have only used PR to build their brand.
Both the client and the agency should set their expectations right at the beginning of the relationship. The deliverables for the year broken into quarters should be worked out and monitored every quarter. Invariably the first month will be to warm up the media and familiarise media about the brand. One cannot expect any coverage in the first month unless it’s a big and breaking news.
A focused PR objectives should be drawn out, which should be sharp and well defined. This should be supported with the Key messaging for the quarter which will address objectives laid out. If you have sharp and precise messaging then one will be able to go and confidently pitch stories with the media.
Identify your spokesperson and ensure that he or she is media trained. Delivering the right message with the journalist is of paramount importance to get your messaging right when the story is published. The spokesperson should anticipate the possible questions that the journalist will throw and come prepared for the interview. Here the PR agency should help the spokesperson in preparing.
Press releases has become a passé. Avoid frequently sending press notes to the publication. These notes never reach the journalist and even if it reaches it is never read by them. Instead figure out if you can think of some good pitch stories based on the release to leverage the same.
It is important that the relationship meeting with journalists happens with out fail. This is the best platform to share your insights and information with the journalist who is always looking for information and knowledge about the category. Try and explore to have this meeting in multiple cities as this will help the client increasing the reach with the publications.
Manage your press conference very carefully. Only when you have really Big News hold one otherwise its waste of money. Pick your venue carefully so that the journalist attends the conference. Even the timings for the conference is very critical. Please decide the timing and venue in consultation with your agency.
You may always not have news to talk about so at this point of time try and plant articles written by your spokesperson. Here you can bring in some innovation to your piece and can also help build your credibility. Ensure that your agency has a good content team to construct a good story.
Crisis management is another area one has to be on toes. It is difficult to kill any negative stories so ensure that a crisis management document is handy and ready in case of any emergency.
– Ganapathy Vishwanathan
Ganapathy Viswanathan comes with over 3 decades of industry experience in Brand Communication, Public Relations & Digital Marketing. He has worked in diverse disciplines with several multinational advertising agencies like Ogilvy ,Lowe and Mudra Group. On the Public Relations front, he was the General Manager Western region of 20:20 MSL, where he spearheaded the western region operations. In his last Senior role he was the Senior Vice President Sales & Marketing Communication at Eureka Mobile Advertising a mobile engagement company in India head quartered in UK.