Monday, September 24, 2012

Slackers need not apply

“It starts with, the RIGHT message and the RIGHT preparation.” — PRQ Plan

What I quickly learned was that public relations is not simply for individuals who love socializing. It may sound glamorous, fun and hip but it requires hard work and dedication. A public relations practitioner must be #plugged in to current events, conduct extensive research, monitor the media and craft timely responses  if they ever expect to run a successful PR campaign.

Prior to our class discussion, I didn’t realize how unpredictable public relations could truly be. Countless hours could be spent sending press releases, setting up interviews, planning events and preparing a press kit, but it could take months before it appears in the media.  Journalists can dictate if a PR campaign will succeed or fail in many cases. If a press release doesn't grab their attention, it could get lost in the shuffle.

One thing I know for sure, PR is not designed for slackers; it requires creativity, curiosity, intelligence, excellent writing skills and problem solving skills. There is #neveradullmoment.

Credit: PR Quote

Public relations is a vital part of any organization. When I think of  Canada’s favorite companies, I must say WestJet comes to mind, and I can also vouch for my  80-year old grandfather who rarely travels  yet refuses to fly with Air Canada. As one blogger puts it, “My overall flying with WestJet was a really great experience and should I be traveling to Canada again I wouldn't hesitate to fly with them again.” You can read more about her WestJet experience here. 

WestJet Airlines’ customer service, advertising and public relations departments create a seemingly flawless synergy. This definitely explains how they’ve become Canada’s third favorite company. Way to go WestJet!

Credit: PR Quote

Silence is never an option.

This piqued my interest because some companies would prefer staying silent rather than adding fuel to the fire. That being said, it is much better to release your side of story rather than allowing speculation in the media and blogosphere to run rampant. It only takes a few minutes for rumors to spiral out of control.

 In damage control situations, proper media training is definitely key. Senior management must be able to respond as quickly as possible and it     is a PR professional’s responsibility to ensure they are ready at a moment’s notice.  Acting fast is always the right solution!

As for what I’m hoping to learn from this class, I would have to say I’m quite interested in exploring how public relations can be measured. What would my clients like to hear? What measurement tools are used in the PR world?
Evidently, research is key when it comes to creating a successful PR campaign, but how does one define their publics?  As a public relations practitionner, stakeholders can range from employees to governments as opposed to a marketer who can define a specific market for their company. For example, Banana Republic can easily define their target audience to: men and women between the ages of 20-50 with an income level of $50,000 to $80,000 who have a professional  career.

Lastly, what type of messaging is most effective for a broader audience? What are the best practices for public relations?


1 comment:

  1. Great post. We'll definitely be tackling your curiosities. And keep those questions coming. See you in class.