To someone unfamiliar with public relations, there may be many questions surrounding why their marketing plan needs it. Within the fresh produce industry, there are a ton of opportunities for public relations to flourish, yet they are often overlooked. Public relations touches almost every area of marketing to support overall success, so shouldn’t this be a tool we utilize more? Many of our fellow fresh produce marketers have relationships with an external PR team/agency, but you may not be making the most out of this support. Here are five ways to avoid missing the mark and maximize your PR team (either internal or external) in 2017:
5 Ways to Maximize Your PR Efforts
1. Treat your PR team as an extension of marketing
While public relations, as a discipline, may seem difficult to understand, your PR team should not be viewed that way. Rather so, your team should be viewed as an extension of your marketing department – or, another set of arms to tackle all your marketing dreams. The team you have chosen to help your PR efforts want to do just that – help you! However, if the team is not included in strategic planning, brainstorms or product development updates, it leaves them in the dark on what they could be elevating to the media and ultimately hindering success.
2. Invest time
Like any new relationship, you have to invest time in one another to understand all the working parts. Quality conversations around your brand’s mission, values and vision are critical to success of this new relationship. Once the foundation is laid, brief weekly updates will be sufficient in keeping PR up-to-date on any new projects. Without these things, your PR team will not know how to tell the brand’s story or align the brand with the right influencers, who will become key players in establishing a voice for the brand.
3. Determine a point of contact
Even though there are the same amount of hours in every day, time seems to slip away faster than we are comfortable with. Depending on your role, time can be a scarce resource. To keep the momentum going with your team, consistent communication is a must. Your PR team will need access to one or two key members of the brand team for potential quotes to media, approvals on messaging, and support in case of a crisis. To ensure that your brand gets the media attention it needs, delegate yourself or a team member as a point of contact.
4. Set clear goals
Just as you would for any other marketing effort, you must set goals for your PR team. In order to be successful, your team will be focused on reaching the end consumer – just as your marketing team is determined to do. While this goal may coincide, the PR team will need to know if your brand is trying to inspire people or educate them on everyday use of your product. Is the brand trying to appeal to the fitness-minded audience or younger audience at large? These types of goals will help the team determine which influencers to work with and which key messages to the media will be beneficial. Setting clear answers around these types of questions will enable PR to choose the right tactics and create a pathway for success.
5. Work with a team you trust
This may be the biggest key to success with your PR team. Without trust, your public relations team will likely become paralyzed in their ability to share your brand story. We understand how fearful it can be when you decide to step out of the comforts of what has worked in the past. However, failure to evolve and stay ahead (or keep up with the trends) will ultimately hinder your brand and stunt growth. When choosing a PR team, it is crucial to trust their abilities and judgement as they will soon become your biggest brand advocate – something you will likely be able to do when you’ve spent quality time and set clear goals together.
We get it – change can be scary, dipping into new resources can be daunting. However, with the right tools and skills, we no longer have to be fearful. If you would like to connect to discuss how PR can work for your brand, we’d love to chat – click here to contact the DMA team!
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