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2017: A Focus on Today's PR Team

By Nicole Dicks

A writer for Forbes recently wrote, “The public relations industry does a terrible job of public relations.” He went on to say, unless you’re in the industry “very few people can explain what people in public relations really do.” Typically, PR professionals don’t buy advertising, don’t create commercial jingles, and don’t work the kiosks at the local outlet mall.

We do, however, write taglines to help brand a new client’s business venture or assist our graphic design team in ad copy for a trade magazine. Today’s PR professionals are focused mainly on creating relationships between people and businesses, using strategic methods of communication. Our main goal is to promote our client, helping spread the good word about their company, products, services and more. Read on to find out common ways our public relations team shares your story.

Press releases. In 2017, press releases are just as important as they ever were and in some cases, even more relevant. With internet bloggers and social media self-described “experts”, who can you believe is telling the truth? Press releases of today are distributed to the local or national media outlets and written by fact-checkers, often by public relations professionals working directly with companies and their front line staff. PR folks know the true story, have relationships with the newspaper reporters and media. When a press release is distributed, and that story hits the papers, it can then be shared by the many on-line outlets and social media channels. In today’s world, a single press release can be circulated faster and with an extended reach, going beyond the audience of yesteryear...one that had simply reached for their morning paper.

Social media. There are businesses that do social media right, and there are businesses that don’t utilize the power of social media at all. Where do you fall? Social media is a powerful tool that many public relations teams recommend for clients, mainly because it’s one of the best ways to share your story. Own a boutique in town for children’s clothing? Why not showcase on Instagram the new summer collection people can’t find anywhere else? If a restaurant needs to let their audience know quickly what new “farm to table” menu item is limited today, why not post that information with a delicious-looking photo on Facebook? Most company websites can’t be updated as easily and conveniently with information as a social media page. This type of strategic communication between business and consumer creates and builds relationships. Social media communication strategies translating into profit for your company? Oh yea, that too. Post a yummy photo? It’s likely people are changing their lunch plans to visit your establishment.

Crisis Management. With PR, you’re usually either creating a story for a client or following one. Should anything go wrong, whether someone at the corporate office finds himself in the middle of a fabricated story or something technical goes wrong with a product launch, a public relations team will have a plan to handle the situation in the most ethical way, protecting your brand’s identity. Public relations professionals will monitor all media outlets, following and figuring out ways to respond to any negativity. After all, they’ve worked hard to create your story and make it one your audience follows, respects and trusts. PR pros are skilled at enhancing a client’s image and know what to do if something goes askew.
Many public relations professionals write, edit and create content for websites, marketing collateral, social media and trade magazines. There are many ways public relations can be used to communicate a client’s story, bringing people and businesses together. Often, managing events and promotions can also fall under the PR umbrella, helping connect the community in ways that go beyond a press release. How do news channels 2, 4 and 5 find out about your company’s expansion or fundraising efforts? A PR pro tipped them off of course!

Creating an image and brand for your business is a process that begins with on-going discussion, research and understanding. At Cork Tree Creative, Inc. our team works diligently with clients to create an accurate, cohesive message that will appeal to your unique audience. Our graphic design and marketing services is also combined with public relations under one roof, making it easy to create the perfect campaign for clients, big and small. Want to learn more? Follow us on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter, #TodayAtTheTree.