Top 10 Best Practices For Public Relations
Rightly said by Warren Buffet “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” Public relations is not an easy profession, after working unanimously with your brand, company, government, or individual they cultivate a story that portrays your reputation, idea, product, position, or accomplishment in a positive light. Not just that it can be used to mitigate any damage that could weaken your reputation.
Here’s an example of Aashirwad Aata a product line by FMCG-major, ITC Ltd. One malicious video spread information about having plastic in the flour, this led to widespread panic in its customers.
ITC took aggressive PR measures to mitigate the damage through several clarificatory videos, media advertisements, digital campaigns explaining the factual position, press release stating the plastic shown in these videos is actually wheat proteins- a mandated component of atta by the FSSAI. The PR strategy saved the brand’s reputation and its products.
Do you think in this case, a simple advertising campaign would have worked? Perhaps no, PR was necessary. PR professionals were able to spread a story that portrayed the brand’s side much effectively.
- Measuring public sentiments & attitude
- Designing PR policies
- Brand Communication
- Gaining credibility
- Foster Innovation
- Damage Control
People often confuse advertising and PR as one. However, there is a difference as advertising is paid media whereas PR is earned media. Advertising generates coverage and visibility, but PR fosters a meaningful relationship with customers, clients, business partners, employees, and the public. It is, therefore, essential for PR to exhibit high standards and best practices.
Below are the best practices that are revolving around PR in recent times.
- Enabling target audience:
Categorizing the target audience such as customers, prospects, partners, suppliers, etc can help to generate a specific and consistent point of view and enable each category to understand a company’s purpose and goals more clearly.
- Information Touchpoints:
Researching where the target audience gets the information about the brand and industry to identify the information touchpoints and develop the plan to communicate effectively across all touchpoints.
- Differential Messaging:
Instead of focusing on a number of articles published, a focus should be on showcasing organizational uniqueness through messaging that conveys the brand and its vision to its target audience. This will help in enhancing corporate image, facilitate sound communication, represent the company powerfully, and gain support from stakeholders.
- Brand Persona:
Projecting a clearly defined personality and brand identity is critical for successful communication. Fickleness can put the stakeholder’s morale down and tarnish the image of the brand for decades. For example- When a brand is well regarded, its share price and employee morale is up; however, if there is confusion regarding identity like M & A, improper environmental sustainability plans, similarity to competitors’ products, dated facilities, etc the brand reputation is poor and at stake. A well-defined identity can improve stakeholder relationships, project organization as focused, enhance customer loyalty and retention.
- Newsworthy Content:
Press has a great appetite for captivating and informative news, feeding them with newsworthy content can help to generate their interest and allow your brand to disseminate good quality information that gets noticed by millions, create positive media exposure, protect from bad press, and a well-trained staff that is ready to broadcast anything newsworthy in a professional manner.
- Harnessing Digital:
The companies demonstrating best practices use technologies that reach the target audience instantaneously and respond quickly. Technology helps to convey the news to your narrowly defined customers, business associates, investors, and other key stakeholders in real-time across the globe. Harnessing digital can help your brand to showcase its story cost-effectively, showcase its position of being flexible, disseminate information more precisely, prevent email disaster by directly connecting to relevant personnel.
- Marketing-Based PR:
This new breed of PR helps in developing an enduring bond with customers that helps the brand in accelerating customer loyalty and retention. Consistent targeted messages through PR can build brand awareness. In fact, this practice may also help the brand in exploring new markets and augment the weak ones,
- Crisis Management:
Crisis can range from product tampering to boycotts, computer viruses, hostile takeovers, labor strikes, environmental contamination, and freak accidents that can threaten the reputation and sustainability of any business. It is therefore critical to predict it beforehand. Companies need to be proactive rather than reactive by building agility and strength to their PR activities, this will help them in developing a crisis management mindset, alert with warning signs, clarify PR roles and responsibilities and sharpen their skills to respond quickly.
- Monitoring Coverage:
For PR to go right, timely monitoring of all media outlets is essential. This will help brands in analyzing brand perception, manage risk, and restructure their PR strategy if required.
- Performance Analytics:
Evaluating the total coverage, competitors, etc using digital tools like machine learning, sophisticated algorithms, and powerful processors can help an organization to track, gather, and organize information about its brand from across the media landscape. Without this practice how would you know if your money and efforts are utilized in the right direction? Such benchmarking will help you evaluate cost, quality and time invested.
Poorly handled PR can have a crippling effect on a company’s reputation, stock price, and future ability to do business. If you’re forward-thinking and want to spot the opportunities and risks that could change everything for your organization, these PR best practices can stand out to be your unwavering guide.