Crafting a Public Relations Message

Instructor: Brianna Whiting

Brianna has a masters of education in educational leadership, a DBA business management, and a BS in animal science.

Have you ever wondered why customers do business with certain companies? In this lesson we will learn about public relations and how their role helps with the image of a company. Specifically, we will learn the steps many companies take to create a message to the public.

A Beginning Look at Public Relations

Let's imagine that you work for a large company whose image is based on family values. In fact, the company is popular because their customers appreciate a company that centers on values and morals. But, what would happen if the CEO of your company suddenly divorced his wife and choose not to have a relationship with his kids anymore? Would a strong family oriented business survive such a scandal? Well, the answer is that depends on the skills of those working in public relations. In this lesson we will learn about what public relations is and how they create messages to help maintain the integrity and appearance of a company.

Foundation Definitions

Before we look at how to plan a public relation message, let's define a key term first. Public relations is the process of creating a likeable and favorable company image for the public. In other words, it is the task of making sure the public accepts and likes what a company represents. This is important because customers may not want to do business with a company that is always in the news for scandals and other negative activities. The goal of public relations is to create an image that customers like and appreciate so that the company can attract more customers and ultimately increase sales.

Steps to Create a Public Relations Message

In this section we will look at some of the important steps when creating a public relations message.

1. Before you can create a message, you need to know what the goals are. Why are you creating a message? What do you want to accomplish? If we take our example from above, the goal of a public relations message might be to repair the damage done to the image of your company that the CEO has created. This will help maintain your customers and lessen the blow to your sales.

2. The next step is identifying the target audience. Who do you want to reach with your message? For example do you want to appeal to your current customers, potential customers, stakeholders, employees, or suppliers, to name a few? So, if you want to repair the image of your company, you might decide to reach out to your loyal customers that respect and appreciate family values. You might also want to reach out to those suppliers that only do business with companies with strong morals.

3. Understanding your strategy and tactics, comes next. The strategy explains what you hope to accomplish and your tactics are how you will accomplish it. For example, your strategy might be to promote the family values of your company, while your tactics might be to host a customer appreciation day filled with family friendly activities.

4. You will then need to create your actual message. This is where you will decide exactly what you will say. What do you want your customers to know about your family oriented business? How will you regain their trust and prove that you are still a company that cares about values and morals even though the actions of the CEO do not represent those values and morals?

5. Create a budget for your public relations message. This is where you need to decide how much money you will spend on your effort. If we refer back to the customer appreciation day, you might purchase hot dogs and lemonade for the event. If you have more customers than you expect, you need to know how much money you have available to purchase additional hot dogs and lemonade.

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