Facebook Teaches Us All a Lesson in PR
- Noel Hamilton
- January 2, 2019
One of 2018’s most high-profile PR blunders had to be when Cambridge Analytica—a political firm hired by the Trump administration during its 2016 election campaign—gained access to millions of Facebook users’ profiles without their permission. Instead of proactively addressing the data issue when it was discovered in 2015, Facebook kept quiet until the situation was revealed in 2018, causing a full-blown crisis—one that was handled poorly.
In short, not only did this social media giant fail to strategically utilize PR when the issue first arose, but it also failed to correctly use PR for crisis management when the scandal leaked. Not everyone needs PR for crisis management; in fact, a great deal of professionals need PR for other reasons. Regardless of your situation, it’s important to understand why you may need PR, and whether or not you’re ready for it. Considering that even the most successful companies take serious PR missteps, this is true for all professionals.
First and foremost, what exactly is PR?
Public relations is a strategic partnership that aligns marketing, advertising and business goals in a way that creates or enhances your brand in the public eye. In short, this is done by creating story angles. Great PR carries the intended message and conveys the reason a target audience should purchase a service, good or product.
Whether you’re a company, firm or entrepreneur, there are important things to consider prior to partnering with a public relations firm; mainly, what you’ll read below. Those who can confidently answer “yes” to the following questions are likely ready for PR, and likely going to receive the best results from a PR campaign.
1. Do you have an exceptional product or service?
PR experts have the knowledge to promote whatever product or service you’re offering. An excellent example is a law firm with a successful attorney, or perhaps a record of victorious cases. Your PR team may have you comment on national or local issues, nominate you for various awards or secure a feature that promotes your firm’s recent cases.
A startup or entrepreneur with a product that has recently become popular is another great example. For instance, the startup behind Bird, the electric scooter company whose product initially exploded all over Los Angeles, grew exponentially in just one year. PR is key for a company like this—one that experienced explosive popularity growth and needs help creating a positive image quickly and efficiently
2. Are you looking to increase awareness, aligning a marketing strategy with your brand?
Most companies want credible content to increase their presence in a given industry—content they can share online, at a conference or inside their business itself. Poor marketing strategies, even with a good brand, will not create the awareness most companies need. PR combines your product or service with exceptional marketing strategies to create a positive image in the public eye.
3. Do you want to distinguish your product or service as unique?
If this is true, PR can help! Setting your product or service apart from others is the key to success. PR experts have the tools and expertise to publicize the unique aspects of your work in a way that will gain the public’s attention. First and foremost, there will be a thorough conversation to determine why your product or service is remarkable and should be promoted to the world.
4. Is your product/service fairly established, but you need consistent, long-lasting credibility?
That’s what this business is for; PR is more than the single message communicated by a temporary advertisement—it’s long lasting credibility. If you’ve already placed yourself in the public eye but need help promoting your services in a creative, consistent manner for years to come, a seasoned PR team is what you need. They’ll determine which story angles will resonate most with your intended audience, use their resources to find you opportunities and ensure that every contribution to your image is long-lasting.
5. Do you still need to establish yourself as an expert in a given industry?
If so, great. Your PR team will quickly determine what it is about your services that makes you a unique, innovative leader in your industry. They’ll prioritize gaining you media attention that focuses not only on those services, but on you as a professional.
For an experienced group of attorneys, for instance, a PR team can quickly find opportunities that position an individual as credible, trusted and efficient—like having them comment on breaking news of the day.
6. Does your business need help handling a crisis?
Remember the Facebook mishap? Situations of this nature can be easily avoided if you have an experienced PR team by your side. Most of us make professional mistakes that can drastically affect how the public perceives our work, products or services, but it’s how we manage these crises that matters most. If you have a strategic crisis-management campaign in place, the public is more likely to forgive your missteps.
If you’re recognizing your need for public relations, Newsroom PR is a one stop shop for all things PR, crisis management, marketing and strategy. Trusted by attorneys, entrepreneurs and boutique/large sized companies alike, we gain clients placements in top outlets, ghost author articles and OpEds, shoot video to gain the interest of TV producers, and create content for websites and social media platforms. Thanks to us, many our clients have improved their online presence, earned honorable recognitions and secured placements in notable publications like Entrepreneur, Forbes, the Wall Street Journal, the L.A. Times and countless others.
For a free consultation to determine if PR is right for you, email us today at firstname.lastname@example.org.