Turkington Public Relations

Building your brand through traditional & social media

Peter's Blog

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You've got to be proactive

Posted on May 9, 2019 at 1:55 PM

In business, as in life, it is important to be proactive and forward thinking. You can't safely protect the value of your brand if you become complacent and reactive. What do I mean by reactive? By reactive, I mean only communicating on behalf of your brand when forced to do so. When asked to respond by a customer or client. Being reactive allows others take control of the opinion of your brand. Being proactive and communicating regularly ensures that people are getting enough information to formulate a positive opinion of your brand, product, or service.

At Turkington PR, our tag line is, "We get you into the news. And, if IT hits the fan...we get you out of the news." By helping our clients be proactive, we greatly reduce the chance that they'll have to be reactive and ask us to "pull them out of the news."

Customer Relations is Public Relations

Posted on May 9, 2019 at 11:05 AM

Public relations isn't just about sending out press releases and dealing with media on behalf of clients. Every interaction with a client or customer is an opportunity for public relations. It's an opportunity to express, expose and grow your brand. This includes phone calls with suppliers, potential customers, existing clients, etc.

Those who are interacting with your customers/clients on behalf of your company are ambassadors for your brand. If an appointment is missed or they don't get back to someone, it reflects on your brand as a whole. Someone who has an unsatisfactory experience is more likely to go out and tell ten friends about what a bad time they had with your brand. Even worse, they'll put it on Twitter and Facebook.

All employees need to remember that a customer centred approach will lead to growing the overall brand.

Is there a return on public relations investment?

Posted on May 1, 2019 at 8:30 PM

I'm often asked about the success rate for public relations activities. Does what we do get clients media coverage and give a significant return on investment? Where we have clients who let us work consistently on their behalf for a period of time (a minimum of six months) they can get consistent coverage in the media - written, print, online, television, radio, etc. This consistency of interviews and articles works to drive traffic to client websites; initiates phone calls; provokes requests for proposals. All leading to a significant return on investment. In addition to this return, public relations is also bringing the client credibility and establishing them as an industry expert.

Define, persuade, attract...

Posted on May 1, 2019 at 7:20 PM

I often talk about knowing your audience. And it's worth returning to again since it's so important. In the social media age, the rush to get information out can mean less consideration of one's target audience.

Before you can properly persuade people that your product or service is the one that best meets their needs, you need to be sure you're talking to the right people. If your not, your message might as well be falling on deaf ears.

Take the time to research what your customers habits are. Find out what they read, watch and listen to.

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 role of a PR professional...

Posted on March 17, 2019 at 9:00 PM

PR professionals should act as a bridge between their clients/organizations and journalists. The goal should be to make their job easier and tell a story that is of value to their audiences. bit.ly/2FjY7tZ

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.