Public Relations is Not Equal to Media Relations Alone

  • March 6, 2016
  • Starr Million Baker

We talk about integrated programs quite a bit at INK, with current and potential clients. What does that mean exactly, and why is it important? Here’s the deal – public relations is not all about media relations. Sure, it’s one strategy to communicate with your key audiences (note: that’s what PR IS all about – communicating with your key audiences). But relying on just one strategy to communicate is like only using your home phone to talk to your family – it won’t get the job done.

I’ll bet most families these days communicate via at least three channels – cell phone, home phone (that dinosaur), email. Throw in snail mail (yes, it still happens), texting, and Facebook, not to mention online portals (some families are fancy), photo sharing sites and the like, and the ways you can communicate with your family audience are abundant. It’s the same for companies communicating with their audiences. Relying on just one way when there are SO MANY more just doesn’t make sense.

At INK, an “integrated PR program” will not rely on just one strategy or communication channel. One strategy might get more action than another, sure, but we recommend and execute programs that include a mix of content creation, social media campaigns, thought leadership platforms, graphic design, multimedia, news, media and analyst relations, you name it. And clients who appreciate a multifaceted approach to program design are more successful with their public relations efforts.

CSID is a good example. To promote the company’s cyber security expertise we have a PR program that includes media and analyst relations, speaking and awards support, and a solid content creation strategy. We also use a number of more unique communications tactics such as the company’s recently launched Firewall Chats podcast. The podcast provides a platform to connect with industry influencers and exhibit CSID’s cyber security experience. We bring all these channels together by taking a campaign-style approach to the PR program that focuses on one or two big-picture goals.

Even small companies appreciate the value of an integrated program. For client Sensuron, we began our work with them by telling a consistent story to all of their audiences, complete with a revamped brand look and feel, fresh website with the help of our partner Workhorse, and new social channels. After a successful brand re-launch, today we keep Sensuron top-of-mind not just with media and analysts, but with all external audiences by developing regular content, disseminating fresh industry perspectives across social platforms, and through speaking and award submissions. In the case of Sensuron, media is only a small piece of the pie and we firmly believe that’s what it takes to effectively instill their market leadership.

So if you come to INK to talk media relations, we’re happy to have that discussion. But know that you’re selling yourself, and your audiences, short if you insist on a single strategy program. Integrated is the way to go, whether executed by INK or not.