Public relations is not just media relations

Before we begin, we should align on the definition of public relations because it is not just media relations.

Public relations is storytelling, but not on one particular channel.

While those stories are sometimes told in the media, there are so many more opportunities to communicate outside the boundaries of a newspaper, magazine, television station or blog. It’s about telling your story to your audience. Often, that means building out an organization’s “owned” channels, including their website, social channels and email programs, both in and out of an ESP.

Smart companies know how to leverage those companies to disseminate their message. Often, they can bypass the legacy third-parties required to spread their perspective just a few years ago.

They know media relations can play into that approach, but recognize it’s about more than amassing a large clip book or placements to inflate the boss’ ego. It’s about driving results. Further, amplify this story with smart and targeted paid programs.

Many larger companies today have a robust website with compelling stories and less about media relations. While some of these companies have been heralded as innovators, their approach isn’t that innovative; every company must do it today.

Tell your story yourself. Start with your website, and extend it from there.

The good news is it doesn’t require millions of dollars to do what they’re doing and to be successful. It takes a simple plan, a platform and the desire to bring the program to fruition.

The good news is many companies do not have the silos and politics larger companies often have. They can be nimble in what they say and when they say it because they do not need to have arbitrarily convoluted reviews and approval processes.

Public relations is most successful when every element is speaking with a unified message and working together, not in silos. Only then can an organization begin to assess whether they have been successful.