PR process breeds innovationPosted by Albers Communications on November 10, 2010 | Comments (1)
This year marks the 10th anniversary of Albers Communications Group. On behalf of everyone here, I send a huge thank you to all of our clients who have made us integral members of their teams. More than anything, we enjoy the collaborative relationships we have developed with our clients and our key partners.
Recently, someone asked me to reflect on the biggest changes that I have seen in the PR industry since our firm began in 2000. Remembering the bridging technique we teach in media training, I turned the answer toward the elements that haven’t changed.
For one, the PR industry remains an enigma to many. When people hear the words “PR firm,” many don’t know what to make of it. This is ironic considering that our industry is focused on helping businesses and organizations clarify their messages. As an industry, it seems that we have some work to do with our own message and delivery.
I was reminded of this fact recently when my cousin said to me, “I know your company isn’t an advertising agency but…” and he stopped mid sentence. In my mind I completed his sentence for him….“but I don’t know exactly what your company does.”
Simply put, we earn positive exposure for our clients – as opposed to buying that exposure – in a way that compels people to take action. One of my most memorable client experiences in the last 10 years was working with National Public Radio on an entrepreneurial story that prompted multiple listeners to literally change the course of their lives by buying a franchise. Now that is the power of public relations.
Another enduring constant in public relations is the importance of the four-step process – research, planning, implementation and evaluation. We are fortunate to represent organizations who embrace this approach to public relations because it breeds innovation and positive results.
One thing that has changed is the explosion of ways to earn this exposure. In addition to traditional approaches that include news media story placements and speaker’s bureaus, now we can take our clients’ messages directly to consumers and decision makers through a number of inexpensive channels, including social media sites, blogs, web-based videos and email newsletters.
But regardless of the communication channel, the content still has to carry value to the end user (remember it’s still about credibility and earning their attention).
To me the biggest challenge that continually drives our innovation is creating PR programs that educate, inform and engage in a personal way. It is also the biggest reward when we can collaborate with our clients and create something unique that helps them tell their stories, share their expertise and become industry leaders.
One important lesson I have learned in the last decade is a PR firm’s culture is vitally important because it will ultimately determine who your clients will be. Our culture – as defined by our team members – is based on honesty, responsiveness, creativity and professionalism, and these same traits are reflected within the organizations we serve. For that, we consider ourselves very fortunate.