By Chelsie Woods
The internet and growth of social media have contributed to a cultural shift where people expect information immediately. Referred to as the “instant culture,” we expect instant gratification from a social media post, where we track the number of likes or views, or an immediate email reply from a client or colleague.
Technology has changed the way in which we all work, and as such, how quickly we expect to see results. In the world of marketing and public relations, this has become increasingly true with the growth of online content and digital media. Where it would once take weeks before a publication would publish an interview, content is being generated at warp speed with shorter turnaround times between the interview and the article appearing in print, or in most cases today, online.
While the final results appear to happen more quickly, that does not mean the work took any less time. In fact, putting together a thoughtful and strategic public relations and marketing plan takes time, and it’s important to not short change the process.
Strategy development and messaging is key
First, when implementing a new public relations plan, schedule time to map out the goals, key messaging and target audiences. Each time a company embarks on a new initiative, such as a new product or offering, the key messaging and audience can change.
Companies often invest several months into developing a new offering and your public relations and marketing support team also need time in order to fully understand the messaging. Who is it intended for, what are the market differentiators and what are the benefits? These items all help to shape the key messaging that will be used as part of created content, whether it’s part of a social media campaign, part of a thought leadership article or included in a media pitch.
Identify your audience
When creating a new product or awareness campaign, a good PR strategy includes identifying and targeting the right audience. This takes time, as the intended audience for a new offering can change which media outlets should be targeted. It’s important for your public relations team to be able to identify additional media outlets and influencers. Part of that process involves understanding which media outlets cover specific topics and tracking recent coverage. This back-end research will support success on the front end.
Thoughtful content development
Finally, build into your program time to source new content. Content development is often a process. This might include speaking with multiple subject matter experts or product managers, for example, along with online research to better understand the impact of an emerging trends or challenge. This is a critical part of the process so that any newly developed content will not only resonate with the intended target audience, but will also fully support the goals and objectives of the company.
It’s important to remember that public relations and marketing results do not happen overnight. To build a successful program, be sure to map out a realistic timeline of activities that incorporates the back-end planning and content creation process, but also the front end for content pitching, placing and the ability to track results.