This post is somewhat of a follow-up to my last post. At AHA, we have had several meetings with potential new clients that required an explanation of the process of public relations and what they might expect when it comes to return-on-investment.
Even with a range of variables, depending on the organization and the objectives, there are clear components to a PR campaign. They are:
People learn about your organization and its products and services through a range of mediums: traditional media, online (websites, SEO, etc.), social media, community events, etc.
People sign up for information, they visit your website, they post comments on your blog, they join the social media conversation, they read/watch/listen to media coverage, they tell their friends and colleagues, they share information, they search for information online, they attend events, they recall and retain the messages you are sharing, they are interested in what your organization is doing, etc.
People consider participating, purchasing or connecting with your organization; they recommend it to family, friends, colleagues; a relationship is beginning (or continuing).
People actively participate, purchase or connect; they contact your organization; they attend an event as a supporter; they sign petitions; they write letters to the editor; they show their support for what your organization stands for; they are connected to your brand and actively participate.
Each of these components is like a building block. They support and leverage each other and they build momentum. There are times (for which we are always grateful) that you can make an announcement and it happens to hit a trend or immediately fill a need and people jump from discovery (awareness) to action. However, this is a rare occurrence. And it is not sustainable unless you continue public relations in a consistent and strategic manner.
One of the challenges of explaining what is needed to develop, execute and measure a successful PR campaign is that many people don’t realize that it takes time and ongoing effort. Often, people see a campaign and it looks a little like an overnight success – when, in reality, it took weeks, months or even years to get to that point.
Public relations is an important and valuable component of an organization’s marketing efforts and it can create exceptional results – with adequate resources and effort.