Updated: Nov 22
Sustainability in all its essence means making enough available even for future use. The word however is often taken into context with regards to the environment. Do you know what sustainability means for public relations strategies? Yes, even your PR strategy needs to be sustainable, as opposed to the current processes that are more focused on delivering short-term results. Don’t get us wrong; these short-term results and momentary wins are important for the clients’ brands while launching new products, services, or making announcements about various aspects of the client, but what happens when there are no particular ‘events’ taking place? During such times, the audience of these brands may question the brand’s presence in turn aking clients worry about their public relations functions. Here’s when a sustainable PR strategy comes into the picture. Sustainability in PR doesn’t mean having a "Go Green '' approach to things and initiatives for the client. It refers to having an ever-growing or an “Always-On” PR strategy in place. In simple words, a sustainable PR strategy aims to have activities and campaigns prepared for the client throughout the year, keeping the brand alive and active.
So what does this “Always-On” PR strategy entail? Here are a few key elements to keep in mind while building a sustainable PR model for your clients.
Keep Everyone On The Same Page
This might be a little obvious, but it’s often overlooked. Make sure everyone working for the client is on the same page. This implies that all information about the client is passed on to and is known by every team member working for them (both internally and externally). This will ensure that the campaigns that you create for the client are in line with the clients’ cornerstones which are their values, USPs, goals and learnings. This will help in creating a strong baseline and foundation not only for the brand’s social image but also for its media relations being pitched out to publishers, journalists and the target audience.
Consistency Is Key
The goal of having a sustainable or an "Always-On" PR model for your client is that it is unequivocally active throughout the year with or without an ‘event’. Whether it's achieved through campaigns that cover their offerings or social media marketing, the ultimate goal is to keep them in front of the audience at all times.
Stay Up To Date
People's consumption of news has changed dramatically as a result of the internet. Any highly relevant topic can be deemed irrelevant and vice versa within a fraction of a second. To stay relevant, your PR campaigns and models need to align with your audiences’ interests and needs, along with the emerging industry trends. One way to achieve this is by maintaining data and insights on all market metrics that will help you actively create content for your clients' target audiences.
Be sure to hop on the trend bandwagon. Keep track of the trends in your clients’ industry and filter them based on its relevance for them. What are people talking about? What kind of content are they consuming? Where can you put your client on display? Staying trendy helps you stay relevant and consistent while exposing your client to a wider audience during the trend phase. However integrating trends that are not relevant for your client or their industry can take a wrong turn, so pick wisely.
Public relations is powerful only if done right. Your clients won’t necessarily have an unlimited supply of news to be published to fuel their image. A sustainable public relations approach will help your client stay relevant even when there is no ‘big news’. It ensures consistent attention, along with engagement and media exposure, which will help boost awareness as opposed to once in a blue moon activities. In fact, having consistent attention on a brand will reduce the efforts you need to put during a promotional phase. To make sure your public relations model is sustainable, patience and consistency are fundamental. So, as PR pros, would you switch to a sustainable PR strategy or stay loyal to the event-based activity for your clients?