Public Relations Strategies and Connections for Life: Getting the Message Across

By: Courtney Costello

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As public relations practitioners, our job is to further our clients goals and objectives while positively promoting their business overall. In a way, we act as a guide on their journey to success. In order to do this, we carry out a series strategies and tactics for the client. For example, at MorphPR we have created a strategic message plan and media timeline to ensure our client, Connections for Life, is promoted to the public in a positive and effective way.

However, this is easier said than done.

The plan created by the public relations firm, in this case MorphPR, must be constructed strategically to not only be effective, but be setup in a way that their client, Connections for Life, breaks from the clutter and stands out. To guarantee this, here are a few strategies PR practitioners can use:

  1. Do your homework.

 Before you can begin formulating a message plan for your client, you must first understand your client. This means knowing your clients mission, history and goals, so you can make informed decisions in regards to your client. For example, Connections for Life’s mission is to aid in the rehabilitation of women who have recently been released from prison and are reentering society. MorphPR after learning of their client’s mission could then begin to draft a strategic message that encompassed the organization’s mission. Along with being fully knowledgeable of your client’s mission, it’s important to know your clients history and your client’s competition. This way, you can create a strategic message that is original and does not conflict with past campaigns, or overlaps with your competitions messaging.

  1. Know your campaign goals.

Who does your client want to target? Who is your customer? What are you trying to achieve? These are all important questions you should answer in regards to your campaign, in order to carry out an effective message strategy. At MorphPR, we met with Connections for Life on several occasion to find out their areas of concern and overall goals. One was to strengthen the association between their thrift store and the program it directly supports. Therefore, we decided as a firm we must create a strategy that would not only urge people to shop at the thrift store, but to give them incentive to shop at the thrift store. In other words, we think an effective strategy would be tapping into the customer’s emotion and showing them their dollars can directly change someone’s life. Therefore, having a grasp on what your client wants to achieve can shape your message and give you direction when creating it.

  1. It takes more than just a news release.

In the modern day public relations landscape, it takes more than just a news release to disseminate your message to the media. Along with sending out a well-written news release, public relation firms should target media that directly relate to their target. This includes, but is not limited to, television, social media, blogs, etc. In these cases, news releases are not always appropriate. Be prepared to create media advisories, pitches and pre-planned social media posts to get your message across in the best way. In efforts to promote the Connections for Life thrift sore, MorphPR is not only sending press releases to the appropriate recieptants, but is sending pitches to local fashion bloggers to promote thrifting and where their readers can go to thrift. This is a non-traditional way to get our message across, but can prove to be an effective one. All in all, not all clients are the same, so why should the way you promote them be?

These are just a few strategies on how to effectively craft and promote a message. Being creative when creating a message for your client is key, but what is most important is to be strategic and make sure your client’s goals and objectives are being met.

Courtney Costello is the MorphPR strategy director and a senior mass communication major from New York. View her digital portfolio or connect with her on LinkedIn.

How to show expertise in your field: the MorphPR experts gain new insights from Connections for Life

By: Shaunda Johnson

Keep Calm I'm An Expert
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As graduating seniors, the MorphPR staff are well versed in the subject of public relations. We have spent numerous years cultivating our writing, thinking, research and deadline orientation/ organization skills both in and out of the classroom. We express our thoughts about goal setting and information evaluation through our writing. We conduct research to find answers to problems, while holding ourselves accountable for deadlines and remaining organized. MorphPR has the public relations expertise that Connections for Life needs. However, does MorphPR have the nonprofit expertise needed to create a one–year campaign for Connections for Life

Public relations professionals need to know more than just public relations; they need to know anything and everything about their client’s industry. According to the article “Business Plan: Analyzing Your Industry,” we had to start with an industry overview. We needed information about the organization’s industry, about the community the organization is a part of and about the organization itself. As we began to access our knowledge of Connections for Life’s industry, we began to evaluate the meaning of being an expert in that industry.

In 2010 ipwatchdog.com released an article titled “How to Show People You Are an Expert in Your Industry.” The article includes six steps on how to increase your credibility in your industry, with number one being specialize your brand. MorphPR commits to this rule through its mission of providing public relations service to non-profits; we never claim, “We can do it all.” However, we also make it a point to be experts in the non-profit sector that Connections for Life’s is in. In order to create effective messaging, we need to know what and whom we are talking to.

Once MorphPR establishes itself as Connections for Life experts, we can skip down to steps five and six on the article list. We have to get writing and get published. No one can tell you about Connections for Life better than the MorphPR team, because we are the experts. Writing and getting published are the best ways MorphPR can show our client’s industry that we know what we are talking about.

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Being an expert according to “3 Ways to Become the Go-To Expert in Your Field,” means establishing yourself as an author. MorphPR plans to capitalize on that advice by telling the story of the women Connections for Life has helped and also explain the purpose of the organization’s thrift store.

At MorphPR we take our dedication to our client and becoming experts in their industry very seriously, which is why we dug deep to understand everything about Connections for Life. We look forward to combining our public relations expertise with our client’s industry expertise to create an effective one-year campaign that will take Connections for Life to the next level.

Shaunda Johnson is a senior mass communication major from Atlanta, Ga. Connect with her on LinkedIn to learn more about her.