Last week we spoke with Evan Sirof, freelance #PR expert and consultant about three priorities for laying the foundation of a successful PR journey. This week we’re following up with three more PR priorities you should focus on.
Priority 4: Don’t Treat PR as an External Thing
And here we get to one of the most pivotal pieces of advice Sirof offered: PR works best when a firm or consultant focuses as much on internal communication as they do on external outreach. When Sirof begins to work with a company, he often devotes a lot of time to internal communications. He learns how employees communicate with one another and how they think and talk about what they do. He’ll often uncover serious fissures that left unchecked, would lead to a stifled PR campaign in the long-term.
Sirof looks at every aspect of how a company communicates, from how it approaches marketing to how it presents itself. He often finds companies are looking at PR in isolation. They don’t see the link between PR and company culture or branding. But for Sirof, good PR comes from good communications. And so he strives to become a part of the team. Like an embedded reporter, he meets with a wide variety of stakeholders and assesses operations from this vantage point. PR can be a launch pad towards improving communications across the entire business.
Priority 5: Recognize that Great PR Stories Can Come from Anywhere
Part of the reason Sirof embeds himself in companies is that he finds great PR stories can come from all lines of the business. A side benefit of working on internal communications before engaging journalists is that PR works best when it’s part of the entire company’s internal thought processes. When everyone is thinking about how best to engage the world, PR programs have a better chance to succeed. To reach this level of success, employees at all levels of the business need to be brought into the fold. As Sirof said, “great stories come from everywhere.” That’s why letting your PR partners into the business is so important. They have the time and knowledge to find these stories, whether it’s from a low-level engineer, a product manager,a secretary, or a CEO. The result is a more complete story of your business and the product, which enables a different perspective to emerge than just the official storyline put forward by executives.
Priority 6: Be Ready to Participate Yourself
PR is an integral part of anything a company does, not a separate entity. It should be ingrained in an organization’s DNA. In order to integrate PR into the internal structure of the company, key staff must be prepared to participate. Executives often think that since they’re outsourcing PR, they don’t have to have any direct engagement. But that’s a misperception – the job of your PR client is to open the doors of gatekeepers for you – but you have to be prepared to walk through and speak about your expertise yourself. After all, no one knows your product better than you do.
Sirof’s checklist should come in handy for any company about to kick off their PR process. PR isn’t turning the keys of your communications over to someone else – it’s about a PR partner coming in and helping you improve how you communicate with each other, and then the world.
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Evan Sirof has been working with innovative technology companies for more than 20 years. He is a specialist at helping companies craft compelling stories to communicate with their markets. His company, MarComm-On-Call, reflects his vision of timely, professional #public relations, writing, and strategic communications services that are implemented quickly and executed for maximum effect. Evan has extensive experience in broadcast and professional video, #big data, telecommunications, enterprise applications, storage, professional photography services, compliance and other technology segments.
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