Lindsay Olson

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What Can PR Do For You?

This is a guest post by Alison Kenney.

Whether you′re interviewing for an internal PR opening or talking to a prospective client, it inevitably comes up:  the "˜how far can PR go′ question.  As in "what can we expect from PR?" or "will this PR push jumpstart our sales?" or even "with this investment in PR, which other marketing initiatives do we not need as much?"
Of course, you — the interviewee — want to sound bullish about the power of PR.

PR can establish credibility.  PR can raise visibility. It helps build a brand and establish market identity.  PR is a great tool for launching products and announcing news.  PR improves communications with all types of audiences.  PR practices are essential in social media efforts.

But you also want to be realistic and set expectations.  You might explain that PR works best when it′s integrated with an overall business and marketing strategy.  For example, PR can highlight the great product positioning the marketing team develops.  PR can drive traffic to many other customer/sales interaction points.  PR can mitigate damage and offer context when there′s damage to the bottom line or a company′s reputation.

Have you had this conversation with your employer?  How do you define PR?  What PR promises have you made?

Alison Kenney is an independent PR practitioner with more than 15 years of PR consulting experience.  She is based on Boston′s North Shore and has worked with organizations in the technology, professional services and consumer industries.  She can be reached at alisonkenney@comcast.net.

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