So You Think You Need Pr?

Issue 20

Anne-Marie Lacey is PR & Communications Director at Filament PR. Here, she talks about why public relations is much more than media coverage and column inches, and how done properly, it can really benefit your business.

If you’re after a shiny piece of media coverage and your name in lights (while it’s always nice and may totally be the right thing for you to do) you might want to think again. You see, the business of public relations is about much more than simply seeing your story in a newspaper.

Liaising with journalists to secure media coverage is just one tactical element of the bigger picture. PR is about your brand’s reputation and the team you work with should be the eyes, ears and ultimately, the voice of your business.

Successful strategies are based on objectives that deliver a real business benefit, not just the column inches. It’s about listening to the wants and needs of your stakeholders, and developing a communications programme based on this insight that feeds back into the bigger picture, helping your brand to move closer towards achieving its business objectives.

Of course, media coverage may be one way of speaking to your stakeholders, but there are other options too, and if your PR team has done its homework, they might just have some alternative suggestions for you.

Imagine you could engage your stakeholders in conversation to gain their buy-in, influence their behaviour through discussion, and build mutually beneficial relationships that work for you, your business and your stakeholders too. The answer is you can and it’s called PR. It goes way beyond the tactics of delivering a communications programme and develops activity that is strategically aligned to what it is as a business you’re trying to achieve on a much higher level.

Think about all of the different communication channels available to you. Is your website up to scratch? Does it clearly convey your key messages while being optimised for SEO? Are you using social media to its fullest and are you sharing original content with your stakeholders that pulls them in to you, rather than pushing your sales pitch on to them?

If the answer is ‘no’, then quite possibly as well as your column inches and media coverage, you need much more from your PR too.

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