North Star Marketing - Marketing Tip #127 - Harness the power of public relations

Harness the power of public relations

Everyone realizes that successful public relations can deliver an incredible impact: it generates media coverage that leads to greater awareness, positions a company as an industry leader, reinforces the buying decision among customers, and much more.

In fact, PR is even more important today given the economic climate, because it can bolster awareness in a budget-conscious manner.

The problem? Many companies approach public relations as an occasional pursuit - an afterthought to the "real" marketing program that's just tacked on in hopes of garnering a bit of media coverage. This piecemeal approach shortchanges what should be an ongoing strategic effort.

Others approach PR without an understanding of the relevant media, without compelling ideas, and without the tools and resources needed to succeed. The result: the time and effort put forth generates little return, giving the false impression that "PR just isn't worth it."

In fact, the opposite is true: PR can be one of the most powerful - and cost-effective - tools available. PR is not a project, and should be a key component of an integrated branding communications strategy. Here are a few of the keys to developing a successful PR program, drawn from North Star's 20 years of experience:

Craft the right plan
When it comes to PR, a detailed plan is often what separates success from failure. This typically includes a variety of elements: clearly identifying target audiences, developing (and time-lining) the right tactics, researching - and knowing how to reach - the relevant media, and more.

Build an integrated program
North Star always advocates an integrated approach, and PR is no exception. By integrating public relations with its overall marketing program, a company enhances the effectiveness of all strategies it employs - interactive, advertising, and more.

Realize the value of consistency
"One-and-done" is not an effective approach to PR. A consistent approach enables a company to build relationships with its media, build an online presence, and become a recognized leader. It's also critical to back a PR program with the right resources, from experienced staff to proprietary media-outreach tools.

Another key: the Internet. PR continues to evolve rapidly, and it pays to understand how PR fits with your approach to the Web, social media, SEO and interactive marketing.

As I mentioned, I don't know anyone who discounts the value of a strong PR program. The real question is: Are you currently executing a program that generates significant value? If you're wondering, it may be time to find a new approach to harnessing the power of PR.

Bowen Smith

North Star Marketing has developed dynamic PR tools and has solid relationships with key editors. Let us know if you would like to hear more in regards to PR opportunities for your brand. As always, contact me at or 717-392-6982, ext. 100.

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