Professional development and training blog of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA)
October 2, 2012

The Right Mindset for PR Success

Join Meltwater Group’s Kimling Lam for the PRSA 2012 International Conference workshop, Get the Right Buzz: Newsworthy Campaigns That Showcase Your Brand, on
Sunday, Oct. 14, 4:45–6 p.m.

What is the right buzz? Is it a top-tier hit in the New York Times, TechCrunch, Wired, or a leading trade journal? Or does getting the right buzz mean going viral in social media? Is it some magical combination of the things described above?

At Meltwater, we believe the right buzz is media coverage and/or viral conversations resulting from implementing a public relations strategy aligned with business objectives. It results from delivering campaigns that are relevant to readers and audiences — and have an impact on the business.

Most of us working in public relations and communications have been asked to measure the ROI of public relations campaigns. Let’s take a step back. The first thing to consider before running any campaign, or even measuring the performance of campaigns, is to make sure public relations strategy is an extension of business objectives. How do you create campaigns that get coverage AND support the strategic goals of your company? I think this particular question can’t be answered before we as communications professionals modify our approach to public relations.

There is a fundamental mismatch between public relations goals and a journalist’s goals. The journalist’s main objective is to serve readers. Journalists want to publish engaging content that gets read and shared. However, the public relations professional’s goal is oftentimes too narrow. The public relations professional just wants “great” coverage, with the definition of “great” often varying from a quick, top-tier mention read by thousands of readers (reach), to a feature article in a smaller publication that includes targeted key messages (relevance).

So given this lack of alignment, how can we as public relations professionals consider the reader? How do we help journalists create engaging and widely-read content that serves their audiences? I’ll be exploring these questions and providing key tactics for achieving the right buzz in my workshop at the PRSA 2012 International Conference in San Francisco.

I look forward to seeing and discussing my points above with fellow public relations strategists!

Please also take a moment to answer this public relations LinkedIn poll: What is more important when measuring public relations success: Reach or Relevance? Please go to this to weigh in:

And don’t forget to download the Meltwater-sponsored Conference app to your smartphone to make sure you get the most out of your PRSA International Conference experience!

Kimling Lam is director of marketing communications at Meltwater Group, a digital media intelligence firm with over 20,000 clients worldwide. Prior to Meltwater, Lam was a news reporter at a major network in San Francisco.

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