<< Return

Three Practical Parallels Between PR Firms and Associations - 1/27/2015 -

Three Practical Parallels Between PR Firms and Associations

Understanding how a publicity firm operates can help your communications team carve out a niche in your associationís community.

By Russell Trahan

A small association communications team may be seeking ways to employ public relations principles in your business model, but you are unclear on how to properly implement them, or fail to see how the application of PR tactics can prove beneficial. The truth is that the fundamental pillars of running an effective and efficient publicity campaign are mutually inclusive with the methods that carve out a niche in your associationís community.

A publicity agency and an associationís communications team have the same overriding goal in mind: client retention. On paper, the operational ways and means may appear vastly different ó connecting with reporters and editors vs. connecting with a community ó but the similarities far outweigh the differences. Here are three public relations principles that are absolutely essential to ensuring long-term success and profitability of smaller associations:

1. No Matter What, Youíre Always Marketing

Public relations executives recognize that their brand and its associated image are the lifeblood of their professional identity, and any blemishes incurred can derail the potential for lucrative returns. In the same vein that a PR firm would continually promote their services as results-driven and effectual, associations must utilize round-the-clock marketing to promote their media products and services through a scope of success and viability, and safeguard against any possible harm to the associationís reputation. No matter what job you have in your association, your actions or inaction can throw a monkey wrench into the gears of the organizationís vision and goals. There is never a moment, on or off the clock, that you are not representing your association, so maintain vigilance.

2. Timeliness is Next to Godliness, So Take to the Internet

Nowhere is the phrase "strike while the iron is hotĒ more pertinent than in the public relations industry, where reporters are on tight deadlines and the window of opportunity to have your client featured may be as minute as the time between your pitch hitting their inbox and the next. Similarly, print publications and broadcast agencies are often an associationís "customersĒ as they require information about the industry you serve in a concise, time-sensitive manner.

With the explosion of social media platforms and the newfound ability of point-and-click problem solving, associations should unquestionably establish a strictly monitored social media presence to respond to requests for information and interviews.

3. Begin with the End in Mind

Beginning with the end in mind means exactly that: Go into any new undertaking with an understanding of an array of possible outcomes, and focus in on the most plausible. Small association communication teams will not evolve into global publishers overnight, and you may endure a few unsteady periods before you finally perfect your formula for serving the information needs of a growing membership. Let your goals reflect that reality when your communications team identifies its targets for the year.

The majority of publicity work is based on the same foundations of the associationís communications team ó a stout presence in the community or industry served, timely service and responsiveness, and a goal-setting strategy designed for realistic achievement. By employing these PR parallels and making them a hallmark of your operation, you establish a member-centric game plan that will build loyalty and success.

Russell Trahan is president of PR/PR , a boutique public relations agency specializing in reaching target audiences in print and online.


© Copyright 2017, Association Media and Publishing. All rights reserved.