How public relations (PR) is used in marketing (+examples)

If you have ever wondered if a public relations campaign makes sense for your marketing, you have come to the right place!

That’s because, for many years, public relations (PR) has been core to our marketing plans and strategies. And when you are done reading this brief tutorial, you will want to integrate PR into your marketing strategies, too.

What is PR used for in marketing?

Public relations is used in marketing as a strategic effort to communicate positive news, a story or language to an audience that best fits the organization's intended market.

Everyday, millions of people across the world receive input from newspapers, magazines, Internet, social media, TV and radio.  These communication channels that form the various departments of the media can play an integral role in the marketing of your business.

Whether your objective is to simply announce a new service to your marketplace, promote your podcast, to write a regular editorial column for your local paper, to gain a radio interview or a TV feature story, this simple guide to Public Relations in marketing  can help you establish contacts, prove yourself to the media personnel and help you get started quickly.

Let’s get started.

How to develop your public relations marketing strategy

Getting the media interested in your business message is not an easy task. 

Editors are bombarded with hundreds of press releases every day. To increase the chance of having your message delivered to your marketplace, you must make the job easy for the people in charge by presenting your materials in a format and style that most appeals to them.  Do this not only in a style that is interesting to them, but with topics that their readers will enjoy.

One of the most effective means of creating public relations is through the use of a press release.  A press release is a statement made by an organization, distributed to the media, typically by a newswire.

With the advent of new technologies, almost being invented daily, many press releases are also distributed by video and even audio. Although many journalists are hesitant to utilize these technologies largely because they are not as easy to mold for their purposes as straight text is, and in some cases they can appear canned or un newsworthy.

For this tutorial, and because we are fans of the Law of 80 / 20 in marketing, let’s stick to the core basics of public relations used in marketing: 

A press release is an important tool of public relations

It quickly answers the “5 W’s and the H” for the media personnel who have the task of scanning literally thousands of press releases, reading the best contenders, and then possibly acting upon the cream of the crop.

The Five W’s and the H are:

  • Who
  • What
  • Where
  • Why
  • When
  • How

Golden rule of successfully getting positive results from your public relations in your marketing:

Make it easy for your media target market to receive your message when they need it

Your press release should quickly answer everything, provide little if any fluff, and the main points should be backed by a quote coming from the expert – which could be you, depending upon your strategy.

Because of the new technologies injected into the world of news, a new kind of press release has emerged: the optimized press release (OPR). One company we use often is eReleases. While they are a little pricey per distribution of each press release, they do a great job, have excellent customer support and we have noticed good results as it relates to media attention and new opportunities gained from their press release distribution service distributed to the newswire that writers, editors and publishers get news from.

Go here for some useful FREE information about eReleases and how they can help:

FREE Bundle of 5 PR eBooks, including checklists and tips to succeed with press releases - Download Now!

Anyway, the optimized press release serves the organization more than just as a tool to communicate with the news media.  The OPR also communicates your PR message to the end-use consumer, and often has a long “hang time”, which can even last several years.

Because search engine based newswires such as Google News and Yahoo! news, more people have the ability to see your press release than ever before.  And because these search engines may index your press release (creating “hang time”), it is possible for you to have a long term footprint on the Internet, with your contact information, potentially bringing you opportunities from work you did long ago. This really does happen more often than you might think.

To get your public relations in your marketing started, you’ll want to develop a very useful, credibility building tool: your PR media kit.

Fortunately, your PR media kit is usually on your website. Although, depending upon your target audience you could print your media kit, a printed media kit is a topic for a later tutorial (this is most often used in B2B lead generation strategies).

How to build your digital PR media kit

Ove time, as you position yourself to the media personnel in your target market, you will want somewhere they can come to and get all the info they need about you and your organization.

This is where you will build your media kit.

A media kit is a simple tool that, again, answers all the questions for someone doing research for their story.

And if you put your media kit online, it is very easy to add new content as your team produces it. In fact, depending upon your website and software used, many times the new content automatically populates itself when you publish new content.

Here’s what goes into your PR media kit:

  1. An overview about your company or organization. This is a good place for a welcome video and information about your leading product and services.
  2. Recent news headlines from your organization, often your press releases and or articles from your blog
  3. Human interest stories, customer testimonials or case studies, etc.
  4. Awards and recognition
  5. Your best social media feeds, probably starting with twitter
  6. Frequently asked questions (FAQs)
  7. Contact information for media relations

Here's three examples of digital public relations media kits from some big public companies.

First is Tyson Foods. We’ve featured them a few times in a variety of marketing related topics such as how well they have their messaging dialed in for Ball Park Hot Dogs  as their marketing team does an excellent job.  

Here is the location of their media resources.  Tyson Foods simply call it News, and have very simple and easy to navigate media resources. This is a classic example of keeping it simple. 

Another one of the top public food brands also featured in our marketing lessons is Archer Daniels Midland (ADM).  ADM’s media kit is more robust and colorful interesting to look at than Tyson Foods. In fact, ADM leads with “News” in their navigation bar which is also indicative of their Customer Value Proposition.  

What I like about ADM’s messaging in their digital media kit is that they make it very easy to engage with their media coordinators. This is a very nice service for the media personnel, making their job easier. 

Lastly, is the Kraft-Heinz Press Room.  Also featured in our marketing lessons from the top food brands, Kraft Heinz does an excellent job in simply reporting the basics. 

First, they list press releases and news announcements in a very easy manner. Second. They make it very easy for media personnel to download high resolution product images, videos and resources, again making it easy for writers who have a deadline to get what they need.

Whether you are a start up, have 500 products or somewhere in between, you can do the same as these big brands.

And as always, if you need any help along the way, Your Strategic Marketing Partner is happy to help.

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