What’s Your PR IQ? – Part 1
People often view public relations as they do acting and writing, everyone secretly thinks they can master those crafts, but few truly have the talent and drive to succeed. With that in mind, the following are some tips that can hopefully increase your P.R. IQ.
1. Define your business. You can’t tell others about what you do until you fully understand it yourself. Write a short, clear and concise paragraph that defines what you do. Write it so that an eighth grader could understand it. You may be surprised.
2. Define your target market. You can’t successfully sell your product or service until you understand who you are selling it to. Again, in a paragraph define your target market. How old are they? Are they male or female? Where do they live? How much money do they make? What media do they read, watch or listen to? If you produce baby food and are targeting members of AARP you may want to rethink your demographic profile.
3. Think in terms of stories. People understand concepts best when told in terms of anecdotal stories. If you are a physician, instead of trying to explain a new surgical procedure in medical terms, tell the story of a specific patient’s experience. Tell it as an interesting anecdote.
4. Write a clear, concise one-page press release. A five-page press release may say everything that you want to say about your business, but believe me, it’s more than anyone else wants to know. You don’t want to tell your life story here; you want to interest the media in an article or segment ideas. A press release is not meant to explain a topic, but to interest the media in finding out more. Write in headlines, use plenty of white space, use bullets and boxes. And don’t forget to include the name of a contact person and number where he or she can be reached.
5. Set up contingency plan to deal with the various possible scenarios. Public Relations is a steady, cumulative process. Although patience is the operative word, you need to prepare for public relations success. If you are interviewed by the media and receive hundreds of calls or inquiries, be prepared to deal with the demand.
6. Give a campaign time to succeed. Launching a one month PR campaign is generally a waste of time and money. It’s like boarding a plane, but never leaving the runway. If you are going to implement a P.R. campaign, make a commitment to stay with it for a minimum of six months. It will be worth it. Both you and your business will be glad you did. Then again, this is just part one of your PR IQ overview. I’ll review pitch angles, media outlets and social media in the next article.