Can Make Your Organization More Successful
My presentation on ways public relations and media relations efforts can make organizations more successful generated lots of discussion recently at the UCLA Conference Center in Arrowhead, California.
More than 100 people attending the California Park & Recreation Society's Aquatic Management School took part in the discussion. These aquatic professionals were highly enthusiastic about what they do, and willing to explore new ways of doing things.
Now you may not operate an aquatics program, but I would suggest that an effective media relations program is as important to your success as it to those recreation professionals.
Simply stated, sound media relations help to enhance the visibility of your brand and your profession, business or industry. Positive media exposure makes your organization more visible to current and potential customers, and drives increases in customers and sales. This public support can lead directly to increased profits, and additional resources and growth for your organization in the future. By generating enhanced public awareness of your company, its reputation and its products, you can help to increase the public’s understanding and support of your organization.
Building a more effective relationship with the media covering your organization and industry requires a number of basic steps that should be part of your overall communications plan. As the chief executive of your organization, you or someone you designate should become a reliable source of information for the media. Your organization should distribute worthwhile information on a regular basis. You should strive to be responsive and accessible. Your staff should be trained on how to deal with the media, and your organization should have a plan for dealing with problems and emergencies that will inevitably arise.
Knowing what the media needs and expects from your organization is very important to the success of your media relations efforts. The media needs you need to provide timely and accurate information when you are contacted or are submitting information. You need to respect their deadlines, and be prepared to deal with the realities of a 24/7/365 news cycle that seemingly never ends. You should provide reasonable access to you or your spokesperson. You should also endeavor to be a good source of story and photo ideas throughout the year, particularly in slower news periods such as holidays.
Remember, it’s not enough for you and your organization to do things very well. You have to make sure that people know about it. The right people.
Even when your organization reaches the point where it can consistently provide top quality products, services and facilities, you will still need a comprehensive public and media relations program to ensure that word of the wonders you deliver reaches the key audiences you desire to have as customers. That’s when you will have put it all together. That’s when you’ll have a blend of top quality products, services and facilities supported by a communications program that makes your current and potential customers aware of the benefits of doing business with your organization.