Successful Public Relations: Q&A with Carol Morgan

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Successful Public RelationsMany companies have public relations plans in place, but some aren’t very successful. That’s why partnering with a team of experts, like mRELEVANCE, is so important. We have long term relationships with the media and know how to communicate your news effectively through media relations and online public relations.

To answer a few questions you probably have about building a successful public relations program, here’s a Q&A with Managing Partner Carol Morgan.

Q: What are they key components of a good public relations strategy?

Carol: The best way to develop a strategic public relations plan is to break it down into these four main components (all E’s!): examination, exploration, execution and evaluation.

•    Examination – Identify and establish your goals (expresses mission and vision) and objectives (clear and measurable statements) and determine key, relevant audiences (public and media)
•    Exploration – messaging /positioning, crafting your messages to build relationships and engage audiences
•    Execution – execute the tactical components of the plan; this can include corporate counseling, media relations, publicity, employee/member relations, community relations, reputation management, social media, awards, marketing communications (like trade shows and special events), etc.
•    Evaluation – evaluate the campaign (using quantitative and qualitative measurements of effectiveness) and report on the campaign’s reach and results

Q: Why is it important to define a clear goal and objectives from your public relations campaign?

Carol: Goal setting is the first step toward achieving goals. Without this first step, you can’t even get started. Goal setting provides clarity and focus on the end-vision and offers measurability on a strategy. Goals enable us to gauge our progress and assess our impact.

Q: Should you establish a target audience for your public relations campaign?

Carol: Absolutely; consumers today are bombarded with marketing messages on the radio, television, internet, email, billboards, etc., you can only make your messages stand out once you understand and identify your target audience and create messaging that is specifically designed to be relevant to them. If you don’t know who your target audience is, you can’t understand what it takes to reach them and you won’t be able to reach them.

Q: Should you create a time schedule for your public relations campaign?

Carol: Of course; your timeframe for achieving your public relations goals should align with time frames for achieving business goals. Sticking to a timeline will ensure that deliverables are kept on schedule and that messages are being delivered on time. Keep in mind though that most public relations initiatives are long-run in nature; it usually takes three or more months to see results from a campaign. Some metrics will be identifiable sooner than that; but some will take longer (especially with media relations campaigns; remember that magazines have long lead times and you may not see results in print for several months to nine months or more).

Q: How can you track the results of your campaign?

Carol: Public relations is notoriously hard to measure. It can be very difficult to measure the impact of a public relations program, that’s why it’s helpful to come up with appropriate metrics (based on your goals and objectives) in advance. Examples of quantitative metrics include audience reach, quantity of leads, social media likes/follows/shares, etc., increased/higher quality web traffic, etc., but quantitative measures are often incomplete (they simply don’t show the full impact), so qualitative metrics should also be taken into consideration. Examples of qualitative metrics include online comments, feedback from stakeholders, the quality of leads, etc.

Q: Do you have any tips for segmenting a public relations budget?

Carol: First, set your budget in advance. Take the time to do this upfront, or you may end up spending more than necessary. You should split your budget based on your goals and objectives; prioritizing as appropriate to meet your goals and objectives.

If your company needs help with its public relations, contact mRELEVANCE today!