PR 3315: Five things I learned in PR Strategies

1) SWOT Analysis: Funny name, serious impact

1404190668mpowjStrengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. A SWOT analysis is a process that all kinds of organizations use (or should use) to analyze their current situation. The information gathered from the analysis allows the organization to asses their skills, areas they should improve in, as well as discovering new innovations to try and how other outside influences can potentially affect them. As a whole, the process is intended to help an organization make the necessary changes to continue their mission and deal with problems that arise from day-to-day. Seems simple and perhaps it is, but often times the simple things are overlooked when they could be most beneficial.

2) Objective is to Goal, Tactic is to Strategy

Although they are similar and tend to be meshed together into one category, these four aspects of tackling a PR problem are not the same. Review time! A goal is the big picture of what you want to accomplish and the objective is the more specific version of the goal. Strategies (the “how”) are the overall approach you take to solving the problem and tactics are the specific actions (the “what”) that help you actually solve the problem. As you may have guessed, the tactics must match the strategy, and both the strategies and tactics must help carry out the objective and overall goal. They’re all related, see? Let’s go through a quick example.

Goal: I want to gain more publicity for my blogs (broad statement of what you want to accomplish)

Objective: To increase awareness of my PR blog in the blogging community by 8% by April 2015, measured by the number of new followers gained. (There are five elements an objective must have but you can see how specific it should be)

Strategy: Audience participation (Overall plan to achieve goal. This is an example of a proactive strategy)

Tactics: Stimulate discussion so other users will comment, create a hash tag that others can use in their posts, host a competition for someone’s article to be featured on the blog (specific actions that relate the strategy and help achieve the goal)

This is a pretty basic example of a PR plan but hopefully you have a better understanding of how the elements work together.

3) Know your audience

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Knowing who your target publics are and understanding how they think is essential to successful PR. Think about this: would you try to sell the newest iPhone to an eighty year old woman? Probably not. Why? Because eighty year old women are not the target group that is most likely to buy an iPhone. Make sense? Not only is it important to know who you are talking to but also how to talk to them, how to persuade them. Using emotional and logical appeals can be great techniques to get into the brain of the public and convince them what you want them to believe. You’ll be surprised how easily people will believe things or at least consider your message; you just gotta know the right strings to pull.

4) Message Design Matters

This is sort of the other side of the coin to knowing your audience. In addition to knowing how to talk to your public, the look and content of your messages can affect whether your audience will trust you. Looking to communicate through visuals? Add music, color, and other visual examples to support your claims. Credibility, emotion, and logic also play into message design as well. If you want to advertise cigarettes or alcohol, you wouldn’t have a doctor endorse those products. No matter what words the doctor says, I don’t know any audience who would feel comfortable buying cigarettes from a medical professional. Speaking of words, it is important to remember the power of language. Be clear with your message; no beating around the bush or sugar-coating things. A skill every PR pro should have is the creativity to spin any message in a way that appears favorable to the audience. This is called “noetic.” If you know your audience and the proper way to present the message to said audience, you’re halfway to a successful career in PR.

5) Basics of creating “shareable” content

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Again, another element of message design and knowing your audience. If you haven’t picked up on it, many things about PR are interrelated. Here are a few things to consider when creating content you plan on sharing with others

  • Have personality
  • Know audience motivation
  • Walk a mile in their shoes
  • Make them laugh
  • Use nostalgia
  • Keep it classy

There are tons of other elements to think about when creating content but there are some basic actions that have a history for getting reactions (positive ones!) out of others.

There you have it! Five concepts I learned in PR strategies. Shout out to Mr. Alan Abitbol for teaching me everything I know about PR strategy. Good times were had by all in his class. See you next time on PR Talk.

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