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The Evolution of Public Relations – How to Build a Successful Communication Plan for Your Organization

March 24, 2022

The way public relations was practiced 15-20 years ago had a lot in common with traditional advertising – quantity over quality. While ad agencies relied on the “spray and pay” approach, PR professionals were hired to “smile and dial” to secure media coverage. But here’s the problem: The old-school public relations model was based on the way people interacted with media pre-Internet. Physical newspapers were delivered to homes daily and watching the news to catch up with local and national stories happened at certain times of the day. Additionally, there were no easy methods to share recommendations among friends or colleagues other than word-of-mouth.

The way people consume media has changed considerably.

Alongside that shift, a transformation in the media industry has occurred. There are fewer top-tier print outlets, fewer long-form stories, and far fewer journalists, editors, and beat reporters at most traditional publications. Given all these changes, what’s a company to do if all they want is to secure great coverage and build a long-term, successful communications plan? Here are three tips to help your company be your own storyteller by building and implementing a public relations strategy to help drive awareness and deliver results for your organization.

Create a narrative your target audience cares about

Before putting out a press release, ask yourself if the news will benefit your target audience and frankly, will they care? If the answer is yes, write the release simply with language that will resonate with consumers. Skip the thesaurus and complex words trying to impress journalists as this very often will do just the opposite.

Feel good news makes great content

Every company, big or small, has opportunities to get noticed by the media. Perhaps your organization gave back to your community in a big way with a build a bike event or donated a record amount of food to the local pantry. While this news might not be worthy of The Wall Street Journal, it is interesting and worth publishing on your company’s blog. Keeping customers “in the know” helps them to feel more connected to your brand, increasing the likelihood that they will purchase your product or use your service in the future.

Position yourself as a thought leader

In an ideal scenario, a journalist will proactively reach out to a PR pro asking to speak to their client as a subject matter expert for a story they’re working on. Of course, this doesn’t happen unless the journalist knows about your client. To better position your company as a thought leader in your industry, keep your blog up-to-date with timely, topical topics written by members of the executive team. Then, rather than just pitching a member of the C-Suite to a journalist, the PR professional can pitch the blog so journalists can get a better understanding of the executive’s point of view.

By keeping your target audience’s needs and interests in mind (whether that be a current or prospect customer or a journalist), you can help control your organization’s narrative, building a brand that will stand out when it matters most.

Let us help you! Reach out to Kristen Quinn at kristen@paigepr.com to build a successful communication plan for your organization.