The cookie-cutter approach might be useful for baking cookies, but in the public relations world, we should throw it away. For those of you who have not heard of this approach, it is a catch-all strategy that utilizes traditional PR techniques and applies them to all businesses. Theoretically, cookie-cutting campaigns would work because a tried-and-true method is being applied. The problem is the client might need a campaign specifically tailored to them that does not include traditional public relations tactics.
Here’s how to ditch the cookie-cutter approach:
Tailor Instead of Cutting
To tailor a public relations strategy for each client, it is paramount to let the research and message drive the strategy. The research will dictate what the company needs, and it allows you to see where they stand against the competition. The research then guides us to know if the company is an innovator, at the top, middle of the pack, or just starting out.
You would not want to use the same public relations strategy for a large business and a start-up; it is not how the cookie crumbles. The large business might want to focus more on thought leadership and being experts in a certain industry; the start-up might need to incorporate influencer marketing and grow into a middle to top-tier company. You cannot assume that one formula is applicable to all companies.
Messaging is another important aspect because it is what makes the company stand out among the rest. Cultivating messages for companies helps PR practitioners know what differentiates that company from the rest and can help create the framework for a public relations campaign. Messages also benefit the client because they serve as the foundation of an organization’s branding and public relations efforts, critical for a successful campaign.
Think Outside of the Cookie box
Try to think of ingredients that are not in the box that could enhance a public relations strategy. There are several ways to get a company message across and traditional media is great if you can get a placement. Nowadays, with reporters being swamped and inundated with emails, it is harder and harder to win media coverage. Media outreach is still an effective tactic, but adding out-of-the-box tactics to accompany media outreach is important to spread the message. An example would be creating podcast interviews, which in return could garner traditional media coverage. There are many creative ways to approach a public relations strategy and it starts with doing your homework.
Research is the Key Ingredient
Research is your best friend when it comes to a tailored public relations strategy. Conducting thorough research whether it be a competitor analysis, combing through websites, or reading up on an industry lets us understand what the client is missing and how to enhance them.
I love to complete competitor analyses because it tells me what has been done, what has worked, what has not worked, and most importantly what opportunities there are for something that has not been done in a current space. For example, a company might not be doing something that a competitor is already doing which could propel the client ahead of their competitor.
Messaging, researching, and thinking outside of the box are some of the best ways for PR professionals to ditch the cookie-cutter approach and make something special.
Thanks for reading my Insight on how to ditch public relations strategy cookie-cutting. For more tips on PR strategy, check out,“How PR Strategies Help Companies Communicate Through Change,” and, “Newsjacking: What is it, When is it Appropriate, and How to Do it?”