Turkington Public Relations

Building your brand through traditional & social media

Peter's Blog

A clear message is essential in everything you do...

Posted on April 4, 2019 at 1:45 PM

Recently I've heard people speculate that public relations is a dying profession. Nothing could be farther from the truth. In fact, there's nothing more important to the growth of a brand than how you communicate its value. That's public relations.

Those who say public relations is dead only view the tactical side of the profession - to them it's all about media releases. Most of them think that PR is simply writing a release and posting it on the internet. In reality, there's much more to it.

Before you can communicate on behalf of a client, you need a well thought out communications plan. That's why we sit down with clients and do planning sessions before we even send out their first release. We ask questions like: what's your marketing strategy? (often a PR campaign can complement current marketing efforts); what's your reason for being in business? (a clear vision for your business is an essential starting point for developing the message); what promotional activities/advertising do you have planned for the coming year? (if we have an idea of the types of activities the company is doing, we can develop PR support that can extend the life of the promotion and create extra buzz); what kind of results do you expect from a PR campaign? (this helps to set and manage expectations); etc...

As part of our planning, we focus and refine key messages. Often, our key messaging advice has an impact on an organization's marketing communications, human resources/internal communications, and other areas of the business.

In some cases, we've been brought in to firms with existing PR departments to help focus their messaging and train their spokespeople on how to best deliver the message.

The bottom line is, if you want to get your message out it needs to be focused and clear. To make sure this is the case, it's often wise to seek professional advice.

A completely mismanaged crisis...

Posted on March 19, 2019 at 9:30 PM

At every stage of the SNC Lavalin scandal, Canadian Prime Minister JustinTrudeau has made the wrong communications decisions. His messages have been mixed and muddled and he has not been able to establish a clear narrative. Now shutting down the Justice Committee investigation communicates only one thing. That Trudeau has something to hide. bit.ly/2OeUF6T

The forgotten audience during a corporate crisis...

Posted on March 13, 2019 at 1:45 PM

When it comes to crisis communications we often think about how to get the organization's key messages to external audiences like the media. But we should never forget another important audience, employees. Here's a helpful article that outlines how to make sure that your employees are kept up to speed during a crisis situation. http://bit.ly/2O0GuSC

A few things to know about news conferences

Posted on February 1, 2019 at 12:10 PM

A news conference is a media event to which newsmakers invite journalists to hear them speak and, afterwards, ask questions.

There are two main reasons for holding a news conference.

  1. So a newsmaker who gets many questions from reporters can answer them all at once.
  2. So an organization that thinks it has a newsworthy announcement, launch, or product can attract wide-spread media attention.

Typically at a news conference, a spokesperson will make a statement. Once the spokesperson is finished making the statement, he/she may take questions from reporters. Occasionally, there is a statement with no questions permitted.

If there’s no statement made or questions allowed, it’s simply a photo opportunity.

In today’s 24 hour news environment, TV news programs air for hours at a time, and internet outlets around the globe track breaking news instantly. In order to meet this kind of demand, editors have a steadily increasing need for newsworthy footage. News conferences can be a useful way to help satisfy this appetite.

Who holds news conferences? Here are a few examples:
  • Politicians (Prime Ministers, Presidents etc.)
  • Sports teams
  • Celebrities or film studios
  • Commercial organizations
  • Attorneys

A news conference is often announced by sending an advisory or news release to media outlets in advance. Sometimes an impromptu news conference can occur as several reporters gather around a newsmaker. Such a news conference is called a ‘scrum.’

Where can a news conference be held? Just about anywhere.

  • The Press Gallery on Parliament Hill
  • The White House Press Room
  • The scene of a crime
  • Hotel conference rooms

Identifying your audience

Posted on January 21, 2019 at 7:50 PM

Before implementing any kind of public relations campaign, it is important to know who you are speaking to.

In short, you must identify your target audiences.

These are the people who will be impacted by the key messages you’re planning to communicate. The more information you can gather on each stakeholder group the easier it will be to develop objectives, strategies and tactics for talking to them.

The key to properly defining target audiences is to understand how they are involved and affected by the story you’re telling. What do they know about it? How do they feel about it? Are they a part of it? And how will they react to it?

You might define your target publics based on geography, demographics, psychographics, covert power, position, membership, reputation (i.e. opinion leaders, influencers), or role. These can be used alone or in combination in order to identify audiences.

Identifying your audience is key to deciding which media should be used to communicate with them.

Get the creative writing juices flowing

Posted on January 18, 2019 at 11:30 PM

Some excellent writing tips here to get your creative juices flowing. An additional one that I find works well is to be an avid reader. Read the news, read blogs, read a wide range of books. This opens up a lot of ideas that you can expand on. http://bit.ly/2Djqpnc

PR Best Practices

Posted on January 15, 2019 at 11:30 PM

Good practices for all communicators to remember. I especially like the advice to think like a journalist and to pay attention to the type of emails you would skip in your own inbox. Self awareness can improve your pitching. http://ow.ly/1rBs30nk4JN

The Power of Brand Advocates

Posted on January 12, 2019 at 6:50 PM

Some valuable insights in this article on the power of brand advocates. Public Relations is key to building a sustainable roster of brand advocates for your product or service. http://ow.ly/FcHX30ni1mN

PR is an investment

Posted on January 12, 2019 at 4:20 PM

On a number of occasions I have come across people and organizations who view public relations / corporate communications in much the same way as advertising. They expect to see instant results.

When you place an ad you know when and where it will appear. In fact, you will even be able to pick the dates or length of time you would like the ad to run. You'll also know exactly what size it will be.

With public relations, you won't know exactly when and where it will appear (initially) and you won't know how long any resulting article might be.

Public Relations is about investment. Investment of time, building relationships and building trust. Professionals in the communication field help to manage these investments on behalf of their clients.

Reporters need to know that you are a reliable resource. They need story ideas from you that are targeted towards the audience of their particular publication/media outlet. PR professionals work to ensure that these requirements are met through keeping media contacts cross numerous industries.

At times, there will be a lot of back and forth with reporters to work out the details of stories. It might take a few weeks, or even a few months, to nurse the story to eventual publication. There may be a number of angles that need to be covered. Different publications might look at the story from a different viewpoint or be interested in different aspects of the story.

The payoff in all of this is that articles published by local, regional and national media outlets will convey a lot more information about your product, service or organization. Not only will it re-enforce the marketing efforts already undertaken, it will create a buzz and provide credibility that marketing alone simply cannot provide.

Harness Your Most Powerful Communications Tool...Your Email List

Posted on August 22, 2018 at 5:25 PM

If you have been in business for even a short while, the chances are that you have collected a number of email addresses from people who are interested in your product or service. This is gold! These are people who are interested in what you offer. In other words, they’re a ‘warm lead’. So you need to nurture them by offering nuggets of your expertise in regular email newsletters. This will help you hang on to them for the long term and eventually turn them into ‘ambassadors’ for your brand who will share your message with their networks.

Email will allow you to engage your network in a two way conversation. You can inform them when new products are available or drive traffic to your website when a new blog has been posted.

And, unlike social media platforms such as Google or Facebook, your email list offers stability. Social media networks may change their algorithms and negatively impact the reach of your communications. Suddenly you may not be able to reach as much of your audience as you used to. You own your email contacts. Social media platforms used to reach potential customers own the audience and can take it away from you at any time.

So, protect yourself from the volatility of search algorithms on social platforms and ensure that a higher number of engaged audience members view your content on a consistent basis. Take every opportunity possible to ask people that interact with your business to provide an email address and keep growing your email list.