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Public Relations 101

October 9, 2008

By Jack Rubinger, Jack Rubinger Media Relations, 503-788-7325

Over the course of more than 20 years, I’ve participated in hundreds of new business meetings, conversations at trade shows and exchanges with editors and reporters from obscure trade magazines to the Wall Street Journal.   Still. misconceptions remain about the practice of public relations, e.g. “No, it’s not an ad.”  The following should dispel some misconceptions and provide illumination about what public relations is and how it works.

· Public relations is a strategic marketing discipline that involves equal doses of creativity, persistence, substance and cooperation to influence members of the media to look favorably on an industry, client, company, business or service. The 3rd party credibility is one of the greatest benefits of public relations.

·  Public relations professionals assist with strategic business discussions, consistent communications, writing/editing documents, targeting media, preparing for media interviews and generating and sharing media results.

·  Public relations involve risks – stories may be edited, bumped because of breaking news or temporarily shelved because of lack of space in a particular issue.

· Public relations includes the following tactics: pitch letters, fact sheets, newsletters, editorial meetings at trade shows, press releases, media tours, contributed articles, interviews, media training, round-up articles, feature articles, letters to the editor, surveys, events, editorial calendar opportunities and public speaking.

· Public relations professionals rely on the following media to generate visibility:

—   Trade, business and consumer publications (local, national, international)

—   Daily and weekly newspapers (local, national, international)

—   Freelance writers (local, national)

—   TV (local, national)

—   Radio (local, national)

—   Industry analysts (national)

—  Web publications (national, international)

—   Blogs (regional, national, international)

· Successfully pitching local media may result in developing new business prospects, new clients, new partners and employees and improved company morale. National media have the highest perceived credibility. Trade media are the best for industry-specific story ideas.  All media results should be marketed and recycled via reprints and website postings.

· Public relations results have three “lives.” By this, I mean that one should tell prospects/friends/influencers about a story before it appears, when it appears and send the results to all after stories appear.

·Public relations campaigns should support all marketing – new business meetings, fundraising, advertising, brochures, business cards, direct mail, merchandising, channel development, packaging, retail sales, and billboards. Messaging must be consistent.

· Public relations may rely on both news (new company, new product, new service, new hire, new direction, new growth) and non-news (anniversaries. milestones, conferences, trade shows, speeches, surveys, contests) to create visibility.

·Public relations involves positioning – a current position, a desired position and competitive positioning.

· Public relations involve the development of a spokesperson – someone who is knowledgeable, responsive and fearless.

·  Public relations professionals charge by the hour, by the project or by retainer.

·  Contact: Jack Rubinger Media Relations, 503-788-7325, [email protected]

  
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Discuss this article

cc33 October 9, 2008

Credibility by a thrd party is good sales concept, but where do you find it? This is very challenging for start-up companies with little cash and little exposure.

Publius October 9, 2008

Excellent article. Nothing to add.

Jerry October 10, 2008

Ahem. I actually thrive based upon the bad PR of my competitiors. Please keep quiet.

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