Just One PR Resolution for 2016

It’s that time of year for predictions and resolutions about how to run our businesses more effectively and efficiently. Instead of a list, I’m recommending just one word for your company’s public relations resolution for 2016: engagement.

Many think of engagement as a step before marriage – an emotional commitment with another person. For PR purposes, engagement looks to develop and nurture relationships with customers, employees, reporters, charitable organizations, or whatever audience we’re trying to reach. However, to truly “engage” these audiences, companies cannot just send out information, they must also listen, acknowledge feedback, and make adjustments. Like all good relationships, there has to be some give and take.

There’s a great quote from a 2014 Harvard Business Review article about employee engagement: “Nobody washes a rental car.” It explains that few people will be truly satisfied working at an organization unless they feel ownership and that their work makes a significant contribution.

So how does PR help people want to wash a rental car? By engaging with them. Communicating why they should care. What’s in it for them? Presenting the compelling reasons to be involved with your company, product or service. Here’s how to start the engagement process:

  • Discover what your target audiences want. Provide opportunities for feedback and really listen to what they’re saying about your company and the industry.
  • Develop key messages that communicate how your organization can provide target audiences with what they want. Amplify those messages through PR – media outreach, social media, and customer and employee publications.
  • Reinforce those messages. Actions can speak louder than words. Provide your customers with stellar service, make a difference through community activities, reward loyalty, speak about important issues in the industry through presentations and thought leadership pieces.

Remember if you need help, outsourcing PR services can be an effective and cost-efficient way to get results.

Happy PR Year!