PR Specialities2018-08-26T18:26:27+00:00

PR Specialties

Practitioners who engage in Community Relations focus on ensuring a favorable image of an organization within its community.  At one time, that usually meant the geographic area in which the organization operates – but it increasingly, it involves the online community as well.

Depending upon the specific case, a successful Community Relations campaign might utilize a variety of techniques, including (but not limited to) story placement in media outlets, op/ed placement, direct mail, community meetings, speaker placement, door-to-door canvassing, creating high-visibility support for community programs, even broadcast advertising.

Corporate Communications is something of an umbrella term and can incorporate a wide variety of specialties – including Media Relations, Issues and Crisis Management, Public Affairs, Community and Stakeholder Relations, Public Market Communications and Social Media.

In general, the role of the Corporate Communications expert is to provide counsel to senior management regarding how the organization is perceived by its stakeholders, and to suggest and execute programs  that either maintain or strengthen those perceptions.

Skilled Corporate Communications specialists are generally strong writers with experience in the concept and production of a wide variety of deliverables, including media releases, backgrounders, annual reports, newsletters, paid placement, online outlets and broadcast.

Crisis Communications specialists help organizations when an event such as a high-visibility accident, product recall, financial crisis or hostile takeover threatens to undermine public trust and good will.  In the process, the specialist will typically guide the organization on key messages and mechanisms to deliver them.

Crisis Communications specialists also keep a sharp eye on news coverage and social media activity in order to monitor what’s being said, so that the next phase of strategy can address errors or emerging story lines.

Ask any Crisis Communications specialist and they’ll tell you the same thing:  don’t wait until something bad happens to call.  Experts in Crisis Communications help organizations plan for the management of bad news long before it happens, ensuring that the organization has skilled spokespeople and a simple, well-organized plan to follow.

Not-for-profit organizations and educational institutions typically rely heavily upon the Development team to implement fundraising in order to provide the revenue necessary to continue operations.  One of the keys to this is ensuring that the public is kept advised of the organization’s activities and success stories.

Public Relations professionals in this space – both in-house and agency-based – focus heavily upon identifying relevant stories about these organizations for the larger community.  A wide variety of tactics are used, including but not limited to media relations, guest speaking, guest opinion editorials, annual reports and newsletters.

Event-focused Public Relations professionals carefully study the target audience, then create and/or promote events to ensure the highest possible visibility and public participation. Event Public Relations allows an organization to take its message directly to the public – and if the event is intriguing enough, the media usually sends a reporter and photographer, which increases awareness of the event’s mission and organizer.

Events can run the gamut from street festivals to lectures by accomplished professionals, artists and politicians.  Sometimes, Public Relations opportunities are presented by joining in a presentation in which the primary sponsor is another organization.

The truth is:  not everyone is a great writer, and the ability to write efficiently and correctly is more important today than ever before.

Public Relations specialists who engage in Ghost and Speechwriting for clients can generate a variety of different deliverables:  guest opinion editorials, shareholder letters, position papers, speeches and more.  Skilled practitioners work with the client’s ideas and key message points (often helping to identify those message points).

They also listen carefully to the client in order to understand that individual’s unique “voice,” in order to craft work that’s unmistakably that of the client.

In case you haven’t noticed, the line between advertising and Public Relations has become increasingly blurred with the growth of integrated marketing communications.  The image an organization presents in its advertising, marketing and online presence needs to be carefully aligned with its Public Relations efforts to avoid sending mixed messages into the marketplace.

Today, Public Relations and Advertising agencies often offer both specialties – either in-house, or through alliances with their counterparts in the other discipline.  When Advertising and Public Relations are aligned, the combined efforts create a synergistic effect in enhancing the organization’s key messages.

Issues Management campaigns are oriented towards achieving defined goals with regard to a specific issue or issues.  For example, your organization might be interested in building a new facility in a community that’s not convinced that the benefits you’d bring are worth the costs.  Or, your organization may be battling a potential environmental or business  threat resulting from proposed legislation, the actions of a competitor or other outside actors.

Issues management specialists drill down to the specifics of their client’s (or organization’s) needs, then create and execute campaigns to support that position.  A wide variety of tactics may be used.

A growing number of trial lawyers recognize the value of incorporating Public Relations efforts in specific cases.

Not long ago, for example, defense attorneys generally cautioned that defendants in an actual or potential action remain silent – without realizing that this silence was often perceived by both the public and the plaintiffs as evidence that the defendant was uncaring.

Because media reports can be admissible in court cases, such communications must be managed with great care.  Effective Public Relations professionals in this field work closely with attorneys to craft statements, media releases and manage interviews.

Media Relations are what many people think about when they think about Public Relations.

In general, Media Relations involves identifying the organization’s newsworthy items, preparing the news in an accessible way for distribution, then conveying it to the appropriate journalist or journalists.  The distribution can be made by press release, tip, phone call or direct pitch.

Key to this: understanding the interests and story beats of media outlets and individual journalists, then matching each story correctly.  Skilled Media Relations practitioners establish working relationships with journalists to facilitate story placement.

Competent practitioners also help clients understand if a given topic is actually newsworthy, and can help them re-position topics that aren’t newsworthy in their original form so that they become relevant to journalists.

Journalists continually train and hone their skills in the art of extracting information from people.  Curiously, many of the people they use as sources have never been trained in how to provide that information.

Media Trainers help their clients understand how the media works, how and why reporters ask the questions that they do, how to plan for and engage in a media encounter, and how to interact with journalists.  Media Training typically involves progressively more difficult practice scenarios, so that trainees can develop their skills.

Many people considering Media Training wait until bad news is on the horizon. That’s a mistake, for two reasons.  First, it limits the amount of time available to prepare.  Perhaps more importantly, Media Training also helps you achieve better results from media encounters when the news is good.

Political campaigns involve either candidates or issues (such as referendums).  Either way, organizers need laser-sharp message control and delivery.

In some cases, Public Relations specialists with experience in political campaigns may actually serve as campaign managers.  More commonly, however, they concentrate on message strategy and tactics, supporting the candidate or issue with backgrounders, media releases, public outreach materials, speechwriting and media relations.

Because of the intensity and fast pace of heated political campaigns, political Public Relations specialists must also be highly tactical and capable of fast turnaround when something unexpected happens.

Public Affairs and Government Relations are closely related to Community Relations and Corporate Communications – albeit with a twist:  in addition to helping ensure that an organization maintains a good reputation in the public, Public Affairs specialists may also be engaged in helping to shape legislation and/or local ordinances.  As a result, Public Affairs specialists often have close relationships with elected and appointed government personnel and lobbyists.

Public Market communications typically involve a focus on two “streets:”  Main Street and Wall Street.  Organizations with either public equity (stocks) or public debt (bonds) must release financial results – and other major news, such as transitions in management or news of acquisitions or divestitures – in accordance with procedures established by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Public Relations specialists in this area often work in-house (in either Investor Relations or Public Relations capacities), but outside agency support may be brought in as well.  In order to release relevant news in accordance with regulations, these professionals work closely with the organization’s senior finance/accounting resources and legal counsel.

The rise of Social Media platforms is arguably the single most important development in organizational communications since the creation of the Internet itself. Today, organizations use tools such as Twitter and Facebook to publicize themselves – but properly-managed social media activities don’t end there.  In fact, when organizations think of social media as just another promotional channel, their campaigns usually fail.

Social media provides a mechanism for an organization to directly interact with various stakeholders.  The big difference? That conversation now occurs in public, rather than one-on-one.

As a result, successful use of social media requires a high level of organizational transparency – and, frankly, a sense of humor. It also requires the organization to regularly update its followers with relevant content and to utilize various tactics to invite their active response.

Public Relations professionals with experience in social media can provide an array of services, ranging from strategy to complete social media management.

Public Relations Specialities

Practitioners who engage in Community Relations focus on ensuring a favorable image of an organization within its community.  At one time, that usually meant the geographic area in which the organization operates – but it increasingly, it involves the online community as well.

Depending upon the specific case, a successful Community Relations campaign might utilize a variety of techniques, including (but not limited to) story placement in media outlets, op/ed placement, direct mail, community meetings, speaker placement, door-to-door canvassing, creating high-visibility support for community programs, even broadcast advertising.

Corporate Communications is something of an umbrella term and can incorporate a wide variety of specialties – including Media Relations, Issues and Crisis Management, Public Affairs, Community and Stakeholder relations, Public Market Communications and even Social Media.

In general, the role of the Corporate Communications expert is to provide counsel to senior management regarding how the organization is perceived by its stakeholders, and to suggest and execute programs  that either maintain or strengthen those perceptions.

Skilled Corporate Communications specialists are generally strong writers with experience in the concept and production of a wide variety of deliverables, including media releases, backgrounders, annual reports, newsletters, paid placement, online outlets and broadcast.

Crisis Communications specialists help organizations when an event such as a high-visibility accident, product recall, financial crisis or hostile takeover threatens to undermine public trust and good will.  In the process, the specialist will typically guide the organization on key messages and mechanisms to deliver them.

Crisis Communications specialists also keep a sharp eye on news coverage and social media activity, in order to monitor what’s being said so that the next phase of strategy can address errors or emerging story lines.

Ask any Crisis Communications specialist and they’ll tell you the same thing:  don’t wait until something bad happens to call.  Experts in Crisis Communications help organizations plan for the management of bad news long before it happens, ensuring that the organization has skilled spokespeople and a simple, well-organized plan to follow.

Crisis Communications specialists help organizations when an event such as a high-visibility accident, product recall, financial crisis or hostile takeover threatens to undermine public trust and good will.  In the process, the specialist will typically guide the organization on key messages and mechanisms to deliver them.

Crisis Communications specialists also keep a sharp eye on news coverage and social media activity, in order to monitor what’s being said so that the next phase of strategy can address errors or emerging story lines.

Ask any Crisis Communications specialist and they’ll tell you the same thing:  don’t wait until something bad happens to call.  Experts in Crisis Communications help organizations plan for the management of bad news long before it happens, ensuring that the organization has skilled spokespeople and a simple, well-organized plan to follow.

Not-for-profit organizations and educational institutions typically rely heavily upon fundraising in order to provide the revenue necessary to continue operations.  One of the keys to this is ensuring that the public is kept advised of the organization’s activities and success stories.

Public Relations professionals in this space – both in-house and agency-based – focus heavily upon identifying relevant stories about these organizations for the larger community.  A wide variety of tactics are used, including but not limited to media relations, guest speaking, guest op/eds, annual reports and newsletters.

The truth is:  not everyone is a great writer, and the ability to write efficiently and correctly is more important today than ever before.

Public relations specialists who engage in Ghost and Speechwriting for clients can generate a variety of different deliverables:  guest op/eds, shareholder letters, position papers, speeches and more.  Skilled practitioners work with the client’s ideas and key message points (often helping to identify those message points).

They also listen carefully to the client in order to understand that individual’s unique “voice,” in order to craft work that’s unmistakably that of the client.

In case you haven’t noticed, the line between advertising and Public Relations has become increasingly blurred.  The image an organization presents in its advertising and online presence must be carefully aligned with its Public Relations efforts in order to avoid sending mixed messages into the marketplace.

This is why Public Relations and advertising agencies often offer both specialties – either in-house, or through alliances with their counterparts in the other discipline.  When advertising and Public Relations are aligned, the combined efforts create a synergistic effect in enhancing the organization’s key messages.

Issues Management campaigns are oriented towards achieving defined goals with regard to a specific issue or issues.  For example, your organization might be interested in building a new facility in a community that’s not convinced that the benefits you’d bring are worth the costs.  Or, your organization may be battling a potential environmental or business  threat resulting from proposed legislation, the actions of a competitor or other outside actors.

Issues management specialists drill down to the specifics of their client’s (or organization’s) needs, then create and execute campaigns to support that position.  A wide variety of tactics may be used.

A growing number of trial lawyers recognize the value of incorporating Public Relations efforts in specific cases.

Not long ago, for example, defense attorneys generally cautioned that defendants in an actual or potential action remain silent – without realizing that this silence was often perceived by both the public and the plaintiffs as evidence that the defendant was uncaring.

Because media reports can be admissible in court cases, such communications must be managed with great care.  Effective Public Relations professionals in this field work closely with attorneys to craft statements, media releases and manage interviews.

Media Relations are what many people think about when they think about Public Relations.

In general, Media Relations involves identifying the organization’s newsworthy items, preparing the news in an accessible way for distribution, then conveying it to the appropriate journalist or journalists.  The distribution can be made by press release, tip, phone call or direct pitch.

Key to this: understanding the interests and story beats of media outlets and individual journalists, then matching each story correctly.  Skilled Media Relations practitioners establish working relationships with journalists to facilitate story placement.

Competent practitioners also help clients understand if a given topic is actually newsworthy, and can help them re-position topics that aren’t newsworthy in their original form so that they become relevant to journalists.

Journalists continually train and hone their skills in the art of extracting information from people.  Curiously, many of the people they use as sources have never been trained in how to provide that information.

Media Trainers help their clients understand how the media works, how and why reporters ask the questions that they do, how to plan for and engage in a media encounter, and how to interact with journalists.  Media Training typically involves progressively more difficult practice scenarios, so that trainees can develop their skills.

Many people considering Media Training wait until bad news is on the horizon. That’s a mistake, for two reasons.  First, it limits the amount of time available to prepare.  Perhaps more importantly, Media Training also helps you achieve better results from media encounters when the news is good.

Political campaigns involve either candidates or issues (such as referendums).  Either way, organizers need laser-sharp message control and delivery.

In some cases, Public Relations specialists with experience in political campaigns may actually serve as campaign managers.  More commonly, however, they concentrate on message strategy and tactics, supporting the candidate or issue with backgrounders, media releases, public outreach materials, speechwriting and media relations.

Because of the intensity and fast pace of heated political campaigns, political PR specialists must also be highly tactical and capable of fast turnaround when something unexpected happens.

Public Affairs and Government Relations are closely related to Community Relations and Corporate Communications – albeit with a twist:  in addition to helping ensure that an organization maintains a good reputation in the public, Public Affairs specialists may also be engaged in helping to shape legislation and/or local ordinances.  As a result, Public Affairs specialists often have close relationships with elected and appointed government personnel and lobbyists.

Public market communications typically involve a focus on two “streets:”  Main Street and Wall Street.  Organizations with either public equity (stocks) or public debt (bonds) must release financial results – and other major news, such as transitions in management or news of acquisitions or divestitures – in accordance with procedures established by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Public Relations specialists in this area often work in-house (in either Investor Relations or Public Relations capacities), but outside agency support may be brought in as well.  In order to release relevant news in accordance with regulations, these professionals work closely with the organization’s senior finance/accounting resources and legal counsel.

The rise of social media platforms is arguably the single most important development in organizational communications since the creation of the Internet itself. Today, organizations use tools such as Twitter and Facebook to publicize themselves – but properly-managed social media activities don’t end there.  In fact, when organizations think of social media as just another promotional channel, their campaigns usually fail.

Social media provides a mechanism for an organization to directly interact with various stakeholders.  The big difference? That conversation now occurs in public, rather than one-on-one.

As a result, successful use of social media requires a high level of organizational transparency – and, frankly, a sense of humor. It also requires the organization to regularly update its followers with relevant content and to utilize various tactics to invite their active response.

Public Relations professionals with experience in social media can provide an array of services, ranging from strategy to complete social media management.