What Are PR Communication Tools & Techniques?
Every facet of public relations involves some form of communication. The largest PR member organization in the United States, the Public Relations Society of America, defines public relations as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” This process involves setting goals or objectives and strategies, formulating key messages and then recommending tactics to achieve your goals. These tactics are your tools, and each tool is created and managed with various techniques.
One of the most common communication tools in PR is the press release. Remember to keep your key messages at the forefront when you write your news release to achieve consistency for your organization. Use the technique of communicating who, what, when, where and why, so the news media get all of the necessary information. Exclude any content that is blatantly self-promotional or advertising in nature; press releases should be news-oriented.
Press meetings involve personal interviews or announcements with media members. A press conference is a technique reserved for important news only, and it involves inviting several media outlets to hear your major announcement simultaneously. The briefing technique is more intimate, with a small group of media representatives. For example, trade media might be invited to a briefing at an industry trade show. Another technique is a press tour, where you visit with media representatives in their offices over several days in a particular region. This is often done for a new product demonstration, for example.
Using social media has become a necessary tactic in many PR strategies, but the techniques should be somewhat different from your personal social media interactions. Your writing and grammar can be informal but still proper. Use multimedia for more impact, such as corporate or demonstration videos. Ask open-ended questions to solicit feedback, and then monitor your feedback carefully. You can also post surveys on social media sites to get customer feedback.
A speakers bureau is set up by selecting and training a group of people with certain expertise to represent your organization on specific issues and topics to your target audiences. For example, your CEO may be an internal member, as well as a person involved in product development. Externally, you may solicit a customer or other beneficiary of your product or service or an outside expert who is seen as an objective source for your company. Speakers should use common public speaking techniques such as staying on the key messages, vocal variations, maintaining eye contact and making strong opening and closing statements.