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5 Tips For Good PR Writing

Social media and digital marketing campaigns appear to outdo traditional writing in our modern digital age. However, good writing still matters. It is still arguably the most critical skill for communication executives and PR professionals. Yet, it is also the skill that requires the most improvement today. So follow along for some of our writing tips at Playbook Public Relations.

  • I-D-E-A-S

First, you need a good brainstorming session. In this process, you develop a list of topics and ideas you would like to explore. Specifically, focus on the acronym I.D.E.A.S:

    • Industry Context (trends): One of the most important things to be aware of in the PR industry is to be timely. One way to do this is to be attentive to trends around you that may be relevant to your brand and cover them in your writing.
    • Data: People like numbers. You may need to dig and do some deep research to find stats or collect some on your own through polls and/or surveys. 
    • Events: What is going on? If there are any critical conferences, galas, or other events that your organization is hosting or attending, make sure that you cover those.
    • Associates: Has anyone at your company done anything significant or won an award? If so, this is a great topic to write about because it gives a deeper insight into the company’s workers and is an excellent way to show off accomplishments.
    • Seasonal and Cyclical Happenings: Be aware of annual events or holidays that may be relevant to your organization. Writing about these topics may spark more interest in readers and can help you make connections with others who participate in similar events.

Following this list of points, you will undoubtedly find a great story.

  • Do Your Research 

No matter the story, it would be best if you did your research. This research could be as simple as having the correct names of people or the proper location of an event to content as complex as scientific data. However, both are equally important.

It would help if you also researched your clients. Look at old press releases or blogs to ensure that you write in a similar voice and maintain the same style to keep it as authentic as possible. 

  • Know Your Target Audience

Knowing your audience is also a crucial step in good writing. Your audience will determine the type of language you use to deliver more targeted and compelling messages that appear to be written for them. If you are aware of your audience’s demographics, needs, and motivations, it will be easier to write content that will spark their interest.

Researching your target audience will also help you to determine the mediums in which the message is shared. Then, depending on the medium, you may consider having a couple of versions of your message to make it fit each channel. 

  • Proofread

One of the worst mistakes you can make is skipping a proofread. First, it is essential to look over your work for any spelling or grammatical mistakes because if there are mistakes, the writing will appear sloppy and unprofessional. Then, you want to look it over again to check for factual errors. For instance, getting a statistic or location wrong could be destructive to the message.

In addition, ask for a second pair of eyes for a review. A fresh set of eyes may identify mistakes that you missed. Also, it gives you a reasonable, new perspective on your work. Finally, try to find someone who does not know everything about your topic. This will help you see if your writing is clear and concise from a new angle. 

  • Write Like a Journalist

Do not make your reader tired or confused by adding more information than you need. At the end of the day, when you are writing for PR, you are often trying to get the attention of journalists so that they pick up your story. So, you might as well write like one, follow these steps below: 

  • Concise: Be concise. Keep the main message straight to the point so that readers can walk away with the message clear in their minds. Also, limit the number of technical words and modifiers unless you are reaching a particular audience.
  • Good flow: Does it read well and tell a story?
  • Factual: People like to know the facts. If there are any crucial statistics, quotes, or other data that would support your work, it is always a good idea to include them, as long as the data is not too overpowering.

Essential Tips to Building a PR Portfolio in 2022

Whether you are new to the public relations field and trying to impress employers or an experienced professional trying to gain more clients, creating a PR portfolio is crucial in getting your work and your image out. Portfolios often include writing samples and designs, editing, and overall accomplishments. Playbook Public Relations will give you some tips to create a portfolio that “wows”.

  • Include Some of Your Best Writing Samples 

Writing is one of the most significant parts of PR. So, showcasing your best work is a must in your portfolio. When choosing which pieces to include, think of the examples that have obtained the most interaction, and select pieces that demonstrate the diversity of your abilities. 

To show variety, make sure to include press releases, blogs, social media posts, etc. Using an array of samples can prove your versatility because not all brands have the same voice, tone, or style. For example, writing for a law firm would be very different from writing for a children’s clothing store. The law firm would require a much more technical voice, whereas a child’s clothing store would have a more playful and lighthearted tone. Demonstrating an ability to show experience in contrasting companies such as these would make for a strong portfolio.

  • Include Social Media Work

Social media is another vital part of PR. Being able to show your knowledge of running different platforms and connecting with the desired target audience will help you build a more robust portfolio. In addition, most companies today require some form of social media presence, so having solid capabilities across all the platforms is critical.

Similar to writing, the way different brands use social media differs from which platforms they use to what type of content they choose to share. Continuing with the examples of a law firm and a child’s clothing store, their use of social media would also greatly contrast. The law firm would likely focus on promoting its services and offering advice. Their content would include graphics or headshots of their lawyers with straight-to-the-point messaging. In contrast, the child’s clothing store would focus more on their products and sales. The content they would use would include pictures of the clothing itself or children playing with more witty and youthful messaging.

  • Include Testimonials and Awards

This is your chance to show off. Including testimonials allows potential employers and clients to see that you are reliable and that your work was valuable to past clients. By including third-party credibility, you are building trust with those who may be viewing your portfolio. 

Any awards from relevant clubs or professional organizations are also a great way to show your credibility and value as a PR professional. 

  • Create an Online Portfolio that Stands Out

If you haven’t already, it’s time to create your own domain name. With numerous website-building platforms, this is the easiest and most efficient way to showcase your portfolio and connect with potential clients or employers. However, how can you make your site stand out, and what are the benefits of going digital?

To stand out, you must create a site that not only displays your best work but also does so in an aesthetically pleasing way. It should also be user-friendly and not overly complicated so that nothing you publish is hard to find. If you are new to creating websites, sites like Wix and WordPress are more straightforward ways to get started.

One of the main benefits of going digital is that it allows you to update your portfolio as you create new content quickly. Also, as public relations evolves, much of the work is now done virtually. Therefore, transferring that work is much more simple than with a physical portfolio. Finally, a website is also a great way to link your professional (or personal) social media tags and your resume so future clients and employers can easily collect that information.

How to Find the Right Influencers for Your Brand

Social media is an essential component of Public Relations and helps companies reach a broader audience. Influencers play a significant role in online social marketing. 

An influencer is someone in your brand’s niche or industry with access to reach and motivate your target audience. They can reach large audiences, followers trust them, and they have the training to use multiple social media platforms. A report on brand trust showed that 63% of 18-34-year-olds trust an influencer’s perception of a brand more than trusting the brand itself. 

Tips to get started with an influencer that fits your brand:

  • Do Your Internal Research 

It is essential to recognize what you want for your brand. What are your values? What are your goals? What audience are you trying to reach? These are all essential questions that must be answered before picking an influencer.

Identifying your target audience is arguably the most important aspect to establish. A target audience is who you intend to focus your message towards to sell your product or service or attract attention. You can create your target audience based on location, age, gender, or even interests. 

Another aspect to consider is which social media platforms they are using most. Is this the same platform that your target market is most engaged with? This information will help you nail down which influencers would make the best fit with your brand and reach the most receptive audience.

  • Research Potential Influencer

Next, do thorough research on your potential influencers. Some critical questions to ask are: What is the quality of their work? Who is their audience? How big is their audience? Have they worked with other brands? Does the imagery they use fit with your company’s ideas?

You want to ensure that your message is being sent as true to your brand as possible and that it reaches the right audience. For instance, a law firm that shares very serious and complex content will not want to align with a spunky, reckless influencer whose content is sophomoric.

  • Quality

The quality of the influencer’s work is vital because you want to make sure that your company still reflects a positive and professional image. If they create low-quality content, it will hurt the brand more than help. 

  • Audience

Knowing their main audience and the number of followers they have and their level of interaction is a significant factor in choosing the right influencer. The values and interests of an influencer are often reflected in their audience. For instance, a famous athlete most likely has a large following of people interested in sports, or a popular musician may have an audience of people who listen to their music. Knowing this information is helpful because it determines which influencer has an audience that matches your own.

  • Past Connections

Finally, looking at other brands that they have worked with is also essential to determine the likes of their past and current audiences. Also, if they have ever worked with a competitor, you must remember that their association with them may stay top of mind for audiences which might not be ideal for your reach.

What PR Pros Should Know About Using SEO Keyword Phrases

To start, SEO stands for search engine optimization. Therefore, SEO keywords are the words or phrases consumers often type into browsers to satisfy their searching needs- to find information. When people search for something in your industry, you want to rise to the top of the list. This is why it is valuable to identify your company’s SEO keywords to reach potential customers. You need to know the most relevant terms to your content and what people most frequently search. 

The understanding and effective use of SEO keywords is becoming essential to public relations (PR) because it is one of the best ways to make the most of a brand’s message and reach the largest possible audiences. Today, many common inquiries can be solved online, and it is often the consumers’ first place of action. 93% of all online experiences begin with a search engine (Business Upside). Therefore, it is crucial to have specific SEO to help your brand. Here are a few reasons why PR professionals should focus on SEO:

  • Brand Awareness

Generally, people tend to choose what is familiar and trusted to them. Much of this comes from consistent exposure to a brand or product. In a tech-savvy era, this is where SEO and digital PR work together. A strong SEO strategy helps PR specialists assist their clients in achieving their desired recognition goals. Also, with the right strategy, you can boost brand visibility, generate more traffic, and meet several brand signals such as news mentions or branded searches. 

  • Social Sharing

SEO and Public Relations work together to ensure that a brand’s message reaches the right audience. Effective SEO strategies encourage audiences to engage in a brand’s content. Therefore, people will be driven to share that content to achieve even greater audiences.

  • Reach a Larger Audience

Reaching larger audiences is a significant benefit of SEO. So, a brand’s message is more likely to reach its target audience and inspire them to complete their desired action, such as clicking on a link or joining a newsletter. In addition, search engine results pages (SERPs) can help a brand identify where they stand in search engine results, which may help further which words work best for larger audiences and keep track of the audiences that the content is reaching.

  • Manage a Brand’s Reputation

An essential task in Public Relations is creating messaging that is true to the brand and gives them a positive image. The goal of SEO teams is to make sure that audiences actually see the messages online. A good message can only go so far if the SEO strategy is weak. Hitting the mark with the SEO strategy will help your organization become top of mind and appear at the top of search results.

  • Trust and Authority

Another essential task in Public Relations is creating a blog on a company’s website. A blog gives a company a platform to update their audience on what is new or is just a space to put engaging content. SEO tools can help a blog gain credibility and climb the ranks in SERPs. This can be done by focusing on calculated keywords and creating headings to lead to the best possible Google results.


Tips for College Students Entering the World of Public Relations

The transition from college to the professional world is never easy. There are many paths in the Public Relations (PR) field with a diverse pool of job opportunities. So much that it can be overwhelming. Here are some tips to keep in mind to help you reach your goals, no matter what path you choose.

  • Get Experience

Internships are a great way to gain experience in a variety of industries and settings. The field of public relations is vast. There are options to work for non-profits, corporate, healthcare, and more. The more experience you gain in any setting will make you a more well-rounded PR professional and appealing to employers. Interning in various industries will also help you discover what you are interested in and what fields might not appeal to you, Understanding your professional interests will help you focus your time and effort on areas where you can thrive.

  • Network

Put yourself out there! If you learn nothing else from your time in college, as long as you know how to network and build relationships with others, you are on the right track. This is arguably one of the most critical skills in PR. Who you know can sometimes be even more important than what you know. Networking can be done in a variety of ways.

Get involved on campus. Student organizations can offer extensive leadership opportunities to prepare you for your career. If your school has a PRSSA chapter, joining the organization would be a great start. In itself, PRSSA offers events to connect students with potential mentors, and sometimes guest speakers will come in to share their advice.

  • Learn Relevant Skills

We live in an increasingly tech-savvy world, and PR keeps up with that trend. Therefore, it is essential to research software and tools needed in the industry, even if it is outside of the classroom. Looking at entry-level job descriptions is one way to see what skills you may need to learn. Of course, you are not expected to be professionals with these technologies at the very beginning in most cases, but anything you can do to learn will give you an advantage.

Some tools to be familiar with are Critical Mention and Sprout Social for media monitoring, WordPress for web design, and Canva for simple graphic design.

  • Focus on Refining Your Writing Skills

You will write more than you can imagine in public relations. So, if you do not like writing, this might be the right career path for you. But, before you learn the bells and whistles of all the new technology, you must go back to the basics of being a solid writer. 

Writing concisely, clearly, and effectively is the most critical attribute for a career in public relations. Build a portfolio of your writing now to show potential employers or to use in interviews. Some great work to include could be press releases, blogs, research communications, and social media posts. 

  • Understand Media

PR students should understand all types of media like the back of their hand. For social media, it is crucial to demonstrate your ability to use social media tools to communicate with audiences across all platforms effectively.

Also, you might be required to get the media to cover your news or events in a job. So, it would be beneficial to know how TV or news stations work or how an editor might assign stories. It also would not hurt to make connections with local journalists. One way to get involved with this side of the media would be to find an internship with a news outlet.

Key Elements of a Successful PR Plan

The main function of public relations is about influencing, engaging, and building relationships with partners to help shape the public’s perspective of your brand. Over time, the definitions of PR have shifted and developed along with advances in technology.  Regardless of your business’ approach to public relations, a solid plan is essential for a successful PR strategy. Your organization should understand what about your business or situation is worthy of news and where are the people you want to reach with your news.

  • Research and Situation Analysis

Before a plan can be formed, your organization must identify specific situations and needs for communication. Do your research into the situations you identify as information that you want to spotlight. You will want to know how do other companies share similar news, what are the outlets and journalists that might cover this type of information, and who are your partner contacts for sharing.

  • Define Goals and Objectives

To ensure that your PR efforts stay on track, the next step is defining your goals and objectives. Your business’s goals are more extensive visions for the future of the business, whereas the objectives are much more specific and describe how the goals will be achieved. PR goals match the overall company goals. 

Objectives should follow the “SMART” rule. This means that objectives must be specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and timely. This method ensures a more definite plan for reaching your stated goals and offers an outlook on your plan’s progress.

  • Identify Target Audience

Next, it is crucial to identify your target audience to plan what strategies and tactics will be most effective. You can specify your target audience using your goals and objectives. Through this research, you may find that multiple target audiences with varying demographics are needed to help you increase your reach. You can better prepare specific messages and strategies that appeal to your target audience.

  • Outline Strategies and Tactics

Now comes the most complex part: creating a game plan. Similar to the differentiation between goals and objectives, strategies are more of a broad approach to how you will accomplish the objectives. In contrast, tactics are the specific actions that must be executed.

For instance, a business’s objective may be to increase brand awareness. A strategy that could be used is to partner up with popular influencers that would be a positive image for the brand. With this broad approach, you can get into the specifics of tactics.

To build off the strategy of partnering with influencers, some tactics could include training the influencers, managing social media, or encouraging them to participate in community and industry events. Ideally, this strategy and attached tactics would meet the objective of increasing brand awareness.

  • Measure Your Progress

Finally, to detect the success of the PR plan, it is essential to reflect on the plan’s progress. This is why the SMART rule is so important because it ensures that the objectives are measurable and timely. Measurements may include data from social media or a website, customer feedback, sales uptick, or other measures of reach. Measuring your progress keeps your company’s objectives top of mind and holds PR specialists accountable for staying on track.


PR Trends to Watch Out for in 2022

PR Trends to Watch Out for in 2022

As we enter a new year, we compiled a list of what we think will be the top PR trends in 2022.

  • Influencer Marketing 

With the pandemic that began in 2020, billions of consumers were forced online and onto social media platforms to stay connected. Public relations specialists have had to follow the trend over the past year. This change in the market is not going anywhere in 2022. For example, TikTok has grown exponentially since 2021 and has enhanced one of the most successful PR trends of 2021: influencer marketing. Social media influencers pick up your brand and promote your products to their followers, whether they have a few or a million. As long as the influencer is trusted, like a celebrity or local radio show host, they could be suitable for marketing purposes. PR experts will need to further research the influencer’s audience to ensure their target market matches the brand’s target market to establish a mutually beneficial relationship.

  • Personalized PR Pitch

Developing a personalized angle for an individual influencer or journalist allows brands to appeal to the individual’s direct interests. With their interests in mind, this approach encourages the subject to pick up the campaign or product because it builds additional trust and credibility between the subject and the brand. Journalists will become more likely to publish, and influencers will want to promote the brand because you offer them what they want.

  • Authenticity Approach

The downside brought with the shift to a more digital market during a global pandemic is the increase in fake news. This drastic increase makes it difficult for consumers to trust any source or brand they see online. Therefore, consumers have developed increased expectations in the authenticity and transparency of brands they usually pursue. It is no longer enough for brands to make statements on their values and initiatives in the eyes of their consumers; they now must actively be making them happen. 

Additionally, being in a more virtual world, new artificial intelligence technologies make PR strategies feel less humanized to the public. Although these technologies may make it easier for brands to reach their target market, consumers lose the “human element” that makes specific strategies feel personalized and authentic. So, in 2022 PR strategies need to emphasize a “genuine” connection to the audience that feels authentic.

  • Be Culturally Relevant

It has always been important for public relations to be top-of-mind, but it is crucial now more than ever to be relevant. The term “cancel culture” has become popularized over the past year. So, it is vital to portray a brand with recent local or global news and cultural values in mind. Consumers tend to put their trust and business into brands that mirror their values. Otherwise, if the brand is seen as negligent or does not match a consumer’s values, it could be “canceled” in the eyes of the consumer. 

How Does Public Relations Support Marketing?

The fundamental task of public relations is to connect and build mutually beneficial relationships for a company or brand to the public and the desired target market. In comparison, marketing creates, communicates, and distributes offers of value to the public. The two may seem similar to someone outside of the communications field, but they are fundamentally different and must work hand-in-hand to be most effective.

  • Refine and Amplify

The goal for marketing is to create content and messages to distribute to a target audience. It is then the job of public relations experts to amplify the messaging and refine it to appeal to the target market effectively. For example, say a shoe store claims to have the best shoes with the best deals and centers its campaign efforts around that idea. Alone, that is “salesy” enough for marketing, but from a PR standpoint, there is not much that can be used to create a unique conversation with the public. It would then be the job of PR specialists to take a more creative approach to the subject by creating other engaging campaigns or finding a unique quality of the company to start an engaging conversation with the public.

  • Reach your Target Market

No matter the brand, public relations has a variety of methods to reach a target audience. PR experts know how to define a specific target market and further continue to approach them by taking advantage of the target’s ads and consistently monitoring social media. Public relations experts have access to communication and media outlets and have worked to develop those relations in a way that an average marketing team may not. PR experts are necessary to get the marketing team’s message out to the public. 

  • Build Relationships

A well-developed PR strategy will generate positive media for a brand, increase online traffic, and create demand. Furthermore, positive brand awareness makes it easier for brands to build mutually beneficial relationships. For instance, influencers will want to become involved with a brand if they believe it will positively affect their image.

In addition, a good relationship with an influencer could increase a brand’s social media mentions or product/service reviews, acting as an additional steady source of media coverage outside of the brand efforts.

How to Identify Your Company’s Target Audience

A target audience is who you intend to focus your message towards to sell your product or service. You can create your target audience based on elements like location, age, gender, or even interests. Learning how to identify your company’s target audience may seem easy, but recognizing your target audience is usually the most challenging aspect of beginning a campaign. Playbook Public Relations offers some advice to determine your company’s target market. 

  • Look at Your Current Customer Base

Defining your current customers is fundamental to understanding the type of people buying your product/service. Your consumer’s age range, gender, income level, education level, marital status, occupation, and ethnic background are some of the first things to identify when figuring out your target audience. Once you have a feel for the demographics and psychographics, you can understand their personality, attitudes, values, interests, lifestyle, and hobbies. This information will help narrow down your target audience if it is too broad.

  • Ask Yourself, “When Will My Consumer Use This?”

Research why and when this specific product or service will be necessary for your audience. Will the product help simplify day-to-day tasks? There is always a need for what you are selling, so make sure you clearly state what that need is. Regulating the type of media your target uses and finding ways to market your brand through that exact social media will aid in the communication between you and the target audience. 

  • Learn From Your Competition 

Check out your competition and compare your target audience to theirs. Find what your competitors are missing to make your brand stand out. Capitalizing on your competitor’s mistakes of overlooking a critical factor in their research can give you a leg-up for your company. 

Once you feel that you have a strong target audience and the characteristics to describe them are concrete, you have accomplished one of the most challenging criteria for your company. The way you engage and the “voice” you use to communicate with your potential and loyal customers will arise from strategically identifying the audience. The rest is simple, so nail down your primary focus and see how well your business benefits after following these tips. 


How to Reach Your Target Audience on Social Media

Social media experts from Playbook Public Relations explain how to reach your target audience on social media.

Social media can help you reach a broad audience of people all over the world. Navigating these platforms and marketing towards your target audience is the key to a successful campaign. Here are some tips from the experts at Playbook Public Relations to help you target your audience on social media platforms. 

  • Define Your Target Audience 

Your target audience is the group of people that you intend to market towards. It can be as wide as real estate investors or as specific as mothers of teenagers in Tampa who are looking to enroll their kids in sports. You should always have your target audience in mind when creating social media posts. Think…what kind of content would they want to read, what vocabulary do they use, what can I add to the post to make them engage?  

  • Take Advantage of Target Ads

Targeted ads can help you effectively reach your target audience. Ads help to promote your brand or business to those who would be interested in seeing your content. You can target the ads based on the location and interest of your audience. There are many ways to create targeted ads; Facebook, How to Reach Your Target Audience, Instagram, Twitter all give you the opportunity to promote your posts to people who follow you or would be interested in following your business. 

  • Monitor Your Social Media Constantly 

Monitoring your social media on a daily basis helps you to understand what content is working with your clients and what is not. It will help you to tailor the style of your future posts to make sure you are reaching your target audience in the most effective way. Monitoring your social media also means keeping up with feedback and comments from your customers. Paying attention to the feedback your audience is giving you helps to build a strong, authentic connection with your following. There are many platforms to help you accomplish this task. Hootsuite, Sprout Social, and Google Analytics are all tools available to help gather all this information into one screen. 

Social media is the future of marketing and PR and it is important to build a strong social media presence in order to help your brand thrive. It won’t happen overnight, but by following these tips you will start to reach your target audience on social media. 

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