Public relations is often misunderstood to mean media relations–working with reporters to get editorial and/or broadcast coverage. Truth is, it’s how your company or business communicates its image to meet your communications goals. Those goals are unique to every organization–earning customers, gaining awareness, raising funds. I’ve worked in this business for 20-some years and am still educating clients that public relations professionals do so much more that just talking to reporters. So here’s a sample of a typical work week for an Indianapolis public relations counselor (me).
My firm typically works with six to eight clients and/or projects at one time. Most clients are retained partners, which means we have a plan that’s been outlined, developed and reviewed on paper. We agree to it and we work it together. That said here’s an overview of public relations projects for our Indianapolis-based clients.
- Brand development: Working in partnership with another Indianapolis public relations firm, we are assessing a client brand to create a marketing/communications program. Through my partner company Roundhouse Resources, we are sourcing a public relations/marketing communications professional who will be staffed to execute the plan. We’ll manage and mentor the staff member. This assessment involves client/vendor interviews, a top line report and recommendations based on their perceptions and feedback.
- Website development. We’re working with a new client that has an old website. The site itself has all the correct information. It needs some polish–updated messages/story about the business, new photo graphs and updated key terms for search engines.
- Public relations planning: In conjunction with that website, we’re also outlining a consistent plan for the client to manage communications through 2013. The goal is to gain more customers. We’ll work on social media, blogs, media relations, events and more together. This client doesn’t require an assessment for brand development–only public relations housekeeping for a consistent program.
- Service outreach/communications: Another client has a service line that needs to be brought to the forefront to gain more communications. This is being managed through social media, blogs, website updates, an email newsletter and possible direct mail to their customer based. We’ve sourced the vendors, written the communications and project managed the graphic design to ensure consistent brand and message to their publics.
- Sales kit: A business-to-business client needs a sales-team tool kit. They want a mix-and-match system that includes PDFs, printed documents, bios for team members and company information. Once the kit is complete, each sales rep can pull the information they need from the file to ensure a consistent message for RFPs and sales presentations.
- Media relations: One of our clients sponsors a statewide non-profit youth program that kicks off at their client site tomorrow. The program involves several partners. We support the media relations, update the client’s website and social media. We’ll also be onsite to take photos to use in marketing/communications materials for their prospects and clients.
In each of these examples, the public outreach and work is very different, yet the end goal is the same: communicating the client’s image professionally to meet their unique goals and needs.