Five Things I Learned in PR Strategies

Oh gosh. To be honest, I think I got a C in Public Relations Strategies. Not that it’s an excuse, but I was more cruising along back in my early years before I realized that I was supposed to get good grades in college. It wasn’t until my junior year I got my act together.

But back to the topic at hand. Every student with a degree in PR can expect to take PR strategies, which is essentially going through the nuts and bolts of practicing PR. It’s pretty much a more hands on class than Principles of PR, the intro class. Let’s get down to facts.

Tactics Drive Strategy

People like to mix these up. A good strategy can set your brand’s campaign in motion. But in order to accomplish that, you need tactics. Just like in a war, a tactic are small steps taken to inch closer to potential victory. For wartime, this typically involves positioning of units and troops. The PR world is kind of similar. Examples include use of specific social media platforms, contests for participants, video spotlights, etc.

The SWOT Analysis

I cannot count how many times I’ve had to whip these out. Basically, it’s a handy chart that displays a brand campaign’s Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. If you have a grasp at these four concepts for your situation, it becomes a very nice reference tool.

You Must Deal with a Crisis

Everyone who hasn’t lived under a rock surely knows how disastrous the BP oil spill was. Whether or not you have a crisis plan buried away, you must deal with these issues accordingly and professionally. BP’s CEO did not, and made the problem about himself. Not the most appropriate way to handle things. Alternatively, you can also screw up a crisis by straight up refusing to comment. Always take the responsibility necessary and have something to say.

Know your Audience

This should be self-explanatory. Seriously, don’t promote your brand to the completely wrong audience. They probably won’t appreciate it.

 Public Relations Isn’t Necessarily Spin

For what I remember, this was literally the first lesson our professor taught us. While spin can sometimes be inevitable in the worst situations, the great thing about promoting a brand is that you can promote what they are. Audiences like to be told straight up what to expect, and if you can deliver that promise with a little promotion, there’s no need to spin anything.



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