strategy

Seductive Tactics, Strong Strategy

The magic of public relations is more science than wizardry. Strong strategy — sound reasoning that guides your objectives and tactics — is the key to lasting success.

Tactics can be very seductive — the promise of a website, a television spot, a Facebook page, a brand video. Strategy becomes an afterthought or, worse, left out altogether.

Catching inspiration from a video or social media account is great creative fuel and will be essential in the creative development process. But when you’re building your PR plan, strategy comes before creative brainstorming. Strategy is the rock to ensure your efforts are on firm ground to achieve results. Strategy lets you move from guess-and-check marketing to a place of confidence.

To help you develop the right strategy for your brand goals, good PR professionals will ask questions such as:

1.  Why are you interested in a specific tactic? Do you think a video (for example) will make your brand appealing to a new demographic? If so, appealing to a new demographic is at the heart of the matter, and we’ll help you develop a strategy to get there.

2.  Do you have research on your target audience? What do you know about their media consumption, daily habits, values and interests?

Thinking Small Gets Big Results

When working on marketing or public affairs issues in small towns, using seemingly old-fashioned communications tools may work to produce surprising results.

A great example is the integrated communications program used by Patti Atkins, APR, public affairs and marketing manager for Providence Seaside Hospital. When Patti arrived at Seaside three years ago, the hospital suffered a reputation problem in the community.

Longtime residents held outdated views about the facility’s quality of care and professionalism, said Patti. Opinions are hard to change in the coastal community.

Being persistent and a traditional mix of simple marketing tools have made a big difference. In just two years, the public’s perception about the quality of care provided by the hospital improved 105 percent, from 20 percent to 41 percent, according to a survey conducted by CFM.