Well it’s been one hellova year. Some business owners (most) have just been hanging onto their hats with a side of home-schooling thanks to Covid. This means that thoughtful and considered PR might have been left by the side of the curb.
But for as long as your business is operating PR is happening in and around your business regardless of whether it’s wrangled strategically or not.
PR is what your customers think about you. PR is what people say when you’re not in the room. PR is what sits in the hearts and minds of your ideal customer. PR is what ‘they’ say it is and not what ‘you’ say it is. PR is the sum of all impressions.
PR in the past was about public relations practitioners creating stories around a business. But PR now is about empowering your target audience to tell those stories for you.
Here are some rapid-fire ways you can get your PR in order and ready to ring in the year ahead.
01 Get clear on your values
A business that is moving forward saddled with values at the heart of what they do will find it easier to attract like-minded folk to their business. Values become a filter for all of your decision-making. Values shape content. Values help you to be seen clearly by the people you most want to attract to your business.
The most powerful and sustainable kind of PR is centred in values and purpose. This is what helps attract like-minded folk to a brand. Values, purpose, vision and mission, matter. They are the decision-making and communications filter for the entire business and the north star of excellent PR.
For example, if you spot someone in your favourite organic food market with some of the same food items you love too; it’s quite likely you share some of the same values and could quite possibly be good friends. Friends become friends because they share similar values. Pana Chocolate anyone?
02 Develop a WHY statement
When you know your WHY (your purpose) beyond growing a business and making more money, you unearth the core communications message for your business.
Patagonia’s WHY: We’re in business to save our home planet.
Nike’s WHY: Bringing inspiration and innovation to every athlete in the world.
Facebook’s WHY: To give people the power to build community so that we can bring the world closer together.
Airbnb’s WHY: We believe in a world where people belong anywhere.
Disney’s WHY: To create happiness for people of all ages everywhere.
Apple’s WHY: To challenge the status quo. To think differently.
Notice how none of them are talking about what they sell?
Spend some time discovering your WHY. The cause beyond yourself. The greater good that you provide to the world.
These two things VALUES and the WHY are the foundation of great PR. It’s what helps you to diversity your story. They’re what help to become a north star for everything you do in and around your business. This is what builds brands.
03 Do a bio copy audit
Ok, in order to create roving ambassadors in the world around your brand you need to make it clear what you believe in, what you do and who for in a punchy descriptor. In order to create a repeatable story, you need to repeat your story.
Do a cross check of all of your bio descriptors online and check that each of them are singing the same song.
- The website micro pitch
- Your Instagram bio
- Facebook bio short and long
- Linked company bio
- Linked In personal bio
- Twitter, TikTok and any other online real-estate you have that requires a bio.
TIP: Remember folks, the best descriptors are in service of others. Refer back to the WHYs of the great brands above for inspiration.
04 Develop powerful key messaging
Having key messages for your business and various projects within the projects (key message for products, services and various campaign where relevant) clarify exactly what you’re trying to say at the most primitive level.
Developing key messages is PR 101. What key messages do is anchor all communication across a business inwardly and outwardly. With key messages you make it life (vision, mission, goals and objectives) more clear for your team and you make it easier for your ideal customer to know what you do, remember and repeat it.
Key messages are the core messages you want your ideal customer to hear and remember. They give communications at every level clarity, meaning and control. They enhance relationships with your target audiences and are an important feature of good PR practice infinitely.
05 Start telling your stories on social media
Yes, don’t wait for media to start telling your stories. Start telling your stories.
Consider all the things that are important to know about you and your business and start writing.
Top-line captions without meaning just aren’t enough when it comes to PRing a business well. This is where you can really go deep on all the things that help bring your business to life, build and connect with a community and ultimately build a brand.
Story ideas and angles include:
- Your origin story
- A time when you felt challenged
- A time when you were in a state of flow
- What you love most, least about your job, why
- Your process, the customer journey
- What you wish you knew
- Tips, tricks
- Insights, trends, facts and findings
- Company news and milestones
- The people behind the brand
- Giving back and your community
- Special events
- Opinion pieces
05 Blog and generate value driven content
If you’re in business or PRing a business for someone then they’ve got value to add to the lives of others right?!
The best way to get clear on how to communicate this value is to list the problems you solve for your ideal customers. Then reverse engineer these problems to inspire your blog content strategy.
This helps to position you as an authority. It drives organic SEO. It clarifies your messages for all other touch points. And it gives back.
Consumers don’t just want aspirational content (look at us and look at us succeeding again). While inspiration and aspirational content has a place; most people want their problems solved and that’s why a business exists – because it solves a problem.
We highly recommend that the stories told on social media should be told on the blog first. The website is still the holy grail of content and most important touch-point for a business; the hardest working employee.
Blogs to follow will support you with further reading and tips on how to expand your PR game, more specifically regarding publicity. And remember dears; a business with an informed PR culture is a business that generates good PR.
By Jade Roberts.
raraPR Founder, Creative Director
Jade Roberts is the founder and creative director of raraPR, a boutique creative PR agency based in Melbourne, Australia. Jade is dedicated to changing the discourse around what PR is, how it works and educates and implements sustainable PR strategies for businesses doing good in a kind PR environment centred on mentorship. Jade is a published writer for both national magazines and retail brands and has extensive agency and in-house consumer-led PR and brand strategy experience across two decades.