Public Relations—A Firm Foundation for Building Strong Relationships
We live our lives to be in relationship with others. These relationships include our family, our friends, our church family, and our coworkers. These interpersonal relationships are what help us to grow and to thrive in life. The same can be said about relationships within your organization. Without a strong relationship with your target audiences, employees, and the media—just to name a few—your organization will struggle to grow and thrive.
At its core, Public Relations is all about relationship management. It is the management of communications between your organization and your target audience, employees, stakeholders, and the media. Though each relationship is different, it is important to invest time and resources into each one to create a strong foundation of communication and awareness for your organization.
Here are three ways to use Public Relations to build strong relationships both inside and outside your organization:
Know Your Audience
Your organization should, at the very least, have an idea of who is part of your ideal audience. Your audience is not limited to the people you hope to reach with your ministry, mission, or products. It also includes the media, social media platforms, and other outlets you plan to utilize to communicate your message. The more targeted your audience is, then the more effective your communication campaigns will be toward reaching your goals.
Your communication strategy will differ with each of these relationships. The key is to tailor your message to each outlet and build strong relationships with those who have the greatest interest or knowledge of your organization or ministry. With the media especially, it is most effective to target a few of the best outlets that have an interest or affinity to your organization. A selective approach will help you make a worthwhile investment toward stronger relationships.
Understand Your Influence
In a previous blog about the six principles of influence, we discussed the power of influence in Public Relations relationships. Here is a brief recap, though you can read the full blog here.
Liking – Building relationships with others—personal or professional—begins with common interests, shared experiences, or similar objectives. This principle applies well in the use of social media platforms and groups. Target people with similar interests that align with your business or ministry.
Reciprocity – Reciprocity builds trust, the basis of any strong relationship. In Public Relations, we experience this through our business connections, our media relationships, our networking abilities to gain coverage, and word-of-mouth referrals.
Social Proof – Authenticity and ethics are key to good PR. In social media we see this through the number of followers you have or the number of likes on a post. Social proof builds credibility in your organization and your content in all forms of communication.
Consistency – Consistency in your message helps to enforce and support your brand. It also helps your organization communicate more effectively across multiple platforms and you can reach more people.
Authority – Establish authority as an expert in your field. People naturally look for direction from the experts—the people who simply know more about something than they do.
Scarcity – This principle is like supply and demand. Scarcity and exclusivity persuade people to donate, purchase, or participate in a specific group so they avoid potential missed opportunities.
Be Consistent and Trustworthy
Trust and credibility are key components in every relationship—both personal and professional. One cannot exist without the other, and in order to build and maintain strong relationships in all aspects of your organization, you must establish credibility with your audiences so they trust you, your mission, and your message.
Credibility is translated into how confident those who receive your message are in the accuracy and truthfulness of it. Your message must be consistent and clear to all audiences to be best understood and believed. Trust is the foundation of any strong, lasting relationship.
If you are interested in Public Relations strategy or consultation to help protect
your brand, Infinity Concepts is here to help. Contact us today!