How to Choose the Right Communication Channels for Your Communications Campaign

How to Choose the Right Communication Channels for Your Communications Campaign

With so many communications channels to choose from, it’s easy to see how some businesses might get overwhelmed.

According to a recent survey by The Manifest, 64% of small businesses use two or more channels when relaying messages to consumers.

By choosing a combination of channels, businesses can ensure their messages are being received by the widest possible audience.

Although it might be tempting to use as many communications channels as are available, businesses would benefit from a more deliberate and mindful approach.

 

Know Your Audience

One of the first steps of planning a successful communications campaign is knowing exactly who the campaign is for.

Ask yourself:

  • How old is the target audience?
  • What are their communication habits?
  • What types of messages do they respond best to?

For example, if your target audience is younger, social media might be the best way to reach them.

Businesses should also consider whether the target audience is current customers or people they’re trying to convert into customers.

“Current customers are going to listen to that message quite differently than folks who don’t know who you are or haven’t had any sort of relationship with you,” said Mike Rosenberg, CEO of Veracity, one of the top PR agencies in Portland, Ore.

 

Consider Your Message

 The next step to planning an effective communications campaign is to consider the message you want to share.

Ask yourself:

  • Are you sharing information about a new product or service?
  • Do you want to share company news?
  • Is the purpose of your message to inform or incite a specific action?

Businesses should always consider the nature of their message before determining which communication channel would be the best fit.

 

Think About What Kind of Return You Want to Gain

After you’ve considered your audience and the type of message you’ll be sharing, you also need to consider the type of return you want to gain from your communication efforts.

Ask yourself:

  • What is the goal with communication to customers?
  • What action do we want them to take?
  • Do we want them to buy something?
  • Do we want them to start a conversation around our brand?
  • Is this more a matter of customer service?
  • How will we track our returns?

For example, if you want to jumpstart buzz around your brand or a new product, social media might be the best channel. If you want to offer customers exclusive news or discounts, email or direct mail might be best.

Whatever your intended return is, make sure it is trackable so that you can measure the success of your campaign to prepare for future campaigns.

 

Business-Consumer Communications Requires a Well-Thought Out Plan

While businesses should use multiple platforms to emphasize their messages, they should do so in a deliberate way. By considering their audience, message, and the return they want to gain, businesses can create a communications campaign that strengthens their public relations, marketing, and reputation management strategies.

Featured image from Ethan Hoover
Podcast: PR Tools

Podcast: PR Tools

PR Tools

If you are like me and you hear the term tools, you start thinking about software or applications that make your job easier. Or, maybe you think about the more classic tools of a carpenter such as a hammer, measuring tape and architectural designs? Others may think of humans most important tool, the mind. 

In this episode of PR Talk, Amy shares her view that the most important PR Tool is not the mind, relationships, a press release or even her favorite, the telephone. She insists that the most important PR tool is instinct.

Other PR tools that help you do your job include:

  • The Press Release

 

  • The Press Pitch
    • Editorial Calendars
    • Contributed Articles & Ghostwriting
    • Media Exclusives

 

  • Additional (maybe even more important) tools
    • Photos & Videos
    • Media Database/Media List/Relationships
    • Press Kits & Virtual Press Rooms
    • Media Drops
    • Email
    • Snail Mail
    • The Telephone

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

Podcast: How to Start a Podcast with PRSA

Podcast: How to Start a Podcast with PRSA

This episode of #PRTalk is a recording from a PRSA Oregon event we did about the Ins and Outs of Podcasting. During the hourlong presentation at the University of Oregon in Portland, we spoke about why we started PR Talk, our processes and the technical requirements.

 

This PR Talk Podcast was recorded at PRSA Oregon’s:

The Ins and Outs of Podcasting

Video:

We also recorded the session if you would like to watch it.

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

Podcast: Dan Lee: Should Media Members Switch to PR?

Podcast: Dan Lee: Should Media Members Switch to PR?

Should Media Members Switch to PR?


Dan Lee with PR Talent 

Dan Lee, from PR Talent, is back to talk about how and why members of the media are transitioning to careers in communications. Dan is a recruiter that works with agencies and companies looking for PR and communications talent. As a former journalist himself, he has great insight into transitioning from being a member of the media to communications.

Dan talks about how most broadcast journalist’s resumes he sees are a grocery list of their segments. This may be effective if they want to land their next tv gig, but it doesn’t do much for hiring managers looking for a PR pro. 

He has found that journalists often struggle in PR, at least initially, because at their media organization they have an assignment editor telling them what to report on (remember Dan was a reporter, he’s been there). As communications professionals know, no one hands us assignments. What PR people do and how we do it is pretty hard to explain. All the elements that go into building a PR plan and determining what the goals. How do we do it? How do we measure it? Those are all new skills that media people will have to learn.

Dan then talks about how many organizations are creating internal newsrooms. Companies like Amazon and Starbuck are hiring former broadcast journalists to help tell their stories. To tell the companies culture stories with internal newsroom made up of former reporters and film crew folks to show the brand for positioning and recruiting. These jobs are hard to find as they typically still have traditional communications titles such as internal communications, corporate communication or content creator, but there are opportunities.

To end this episode Dan provides media folks three suggestions for breaking into PR: 

  1. Fix your resume. Sorry, there is no silver bullet. But you can email Dan directly, at [email protected], and he’ll share his insight with you. Dan has a 2-minute resume formatting video
  2. Use a resume coach or a job coach. Dan is not a coach, but he knows some.
  3. Have coffee with someone that has already done it (made the transition).

Want to hear more from Dan? You can listen to his first appearance on PR Talk where he talks about what makes a great communications hire or his thoughts on the difference between in-house and agency jobs

About the guest: Dan Lee

Dan Lee is a Managing Director at PR Talent and leads the firm’s recruiting efforts in the Northwest region. His career experience includes sports broadcasting, sports marketing, and 16 years with Weber Shandwick, where he was a vice president.

Connect and follow Dan on social media:

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

Podcast: Forget Your Story

Podcast: Forget Your Story

We Challenge You to “Forget Your Story”

Wait, what?!? If you’ve come up in the PR world like me, the idea of “the story” has been ingrained into you from before the time you picked up your first AP Style Guide. In fact, it is so pervasive that Mike pointed out our website has “What’s Your Story” written all over it. I must have written that unoriginal website copy in a stint of boredom before launching into a book in which the second chapter is titled “Forget Your Story.”

In this episode of PR Talk, Mike and I talk about what it means to “Forget Your Story.” Mike was a bit flabbergasted by this concept at first, wondering how marketers can do anything without story-telling, which is the foundation of the human language.

I’m not suggesting people completely forget who they are and stop honing their stories. This bold statement is meant to light a fire under people who can get too hung up on the stories before getting any real work done. For me, the classic media relations style of PR is about getting results. I can create the prettiest press kit, have the best connections and manufacture the slickest “story” but if I’m not getting any press coverage (results), then what is the point to all that hustle?

Instead of doing all that busy-work first, I’m offering a new way that literally approaches things  backwards — providing the instant gratification of immediate results. Just forget your story right now while you get your first nuggets of press coverage. Trying to uncover your story’s nuances before getting started can waste a lot of time. While I do love me some time-wasting, I cannot handle missed opportunities.

In this episode, I come to realize that this book is about doing. I am trying to get heads out of clouds and into action. The book — and accompanying PR Talk episodes — will walk you through how to get media coverage first and foremost. Along the way we might stumble upon your story if you can’t wait until the end when we do close with “Figuring Out Your Story.”

In order to get started, we challenge listeners to write down what is new in their organization. This is the beginning of your list of press release ideas. This is very different than a list of random ideas. I will say it again. Just list out what is new/happening in your organization. This will be converted into your press release list and possibly it’s the beginning of a PR timeline.

Just because I mention a press release list, you must not skip ahead to the section where I list the press release topics (this is a list I am working on of topics the press will actually cover because there’s no point to a press release if the press doesn’t pick it up).

If you are trying to be an A student (I see you. I know you. I am you.) and only want to include good things that the press might cover in your list, the best way to know what types of things the news might cover is to actually consume the news. My challenge for the A students is to set a time to consume news every day and……do it!!!…..For the rest of this working week….and then on Monday you can create the list of new things that are happening in your organization.

Until next time.

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.

Podcast: Dan Lee: Agency vs. In-House

Podcast: Dan Lee: Agency vs. In-House

The PR Agency Grind versus the In-House Comms Department Cake-Walk?


Not so fast, says Dan Lee with PR Talent.

This week’s PR Talk episode features my best friend Dan Lee with PR Talent. We’ve only met once so I don’t know if he knows that we are best friends yet. Basically, I was wondering if he could just sit in my office with me all day, every day and just be my PR cheerleader and hold my hand as I trudge down the road of painful PR.

This week we’re airing the 2nd half of the conversation that I had with Dan a while back. He works on placing PR unicorns in either agency or in-house settings. Since his company only focuses on recruiting for PR roles, his knowledge about the field is extremely dense, plus Dan worked at agencies and as sports-broadcaster in a past life.

Also, to remind you, if you are in PR or looking to get into PR, you do not pay Dan to work with you. The company where you are placed pays PR Talent, which you might view as a positive if you are evaluating companies because you probably want to work for the type of company that has the resources to invest in finding perfect you. It shows how much they value what you will bring to the table and how your role fill will affect the organization.

After delving into some of the pitfalls and stresses of working at an agency, we, of course, talked about the many upsides like the variety in work and the comradery. Dan mentioned that many new PR pros with three-four years of experience end up wanting to go in-house, with in-house communications departments aggressively trying to hire agency talent.

What makes the in-house gig so attractive? Dan thinks the work-life balance may be appealing but he warns us that nothing is perfect and you’ll have to get really savvy maneuvering your way through the murky waters of in-house politics, bringing stress at all hours. And while you historically make a little bit more money in-house, the competition is fierce for the small amount of in-house jobs available.

We then moved on to talk about the random but fun topics of:

  • The newly popular phenomenon of ghosting in the job-seeking market.
  • How stress in PR is based upon a game we play against ourselves in the way of constantly needing to improve.
  • The importance of celebrating small successes. Dan’s example of firing an agency client may sound counter-intuitive but it was meaningful for his team at the time.

Tune-in in two weeks if you’re a media member looking to make the leap into PR. Dan has some tips and surprising news for you on this front. And if you liked what Dan had to stay, check out his past PR Talk episode here.

About the guest: Dan Lee

Dan Lee is a Managing Director at PR Talent and leads the firm’s recruiting efforts in the Northwest region. His career experience includes sports broadcasting, sports marketing, and 16 years with Weber Shandwick, where he was a vice president.

Connect and follow Dan on social media:

This episode of PR Talk is brought to you by PRSA Oregon

Throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington, PRSA provides members with networking, mentorship, skill building and professional development opportunities – whether you are a new professional fresh out of college or a skilled expert with 20 years in the industry. Check out PRSAoregon.org for more information on how membership can help you grow and connect.