Techniques For Effective Public Relations

Counseling and Program Development

We consider counseling on matters related to communications to be the most important function we provide. None of our programs proceed without a foundation of sound strategies with clear goals and objectives.

A written plan of action defines your objectives as a client, your communications needs and appropriate strategies and activities. The plan also includes a schedule for realizing objectives and a recommended budget. Evaluation of program effectiveness is ongoing.

Media Relations

Our broad range of current contacts with general media such as newspapers and consumer magazines and with industry-oriented business, trade and technical publications have been developed over the years. Regular and frequent phone and personal communications keeps our awareness high. We stay abreast of what publications are looking for, specific editor interests and readership changes. By anticipating editors’ needs, we are able to better sell your stories.

Interview Arrangements and Preparation

For all major interviews, Brigham Scully prepares a detailed briefing about the type of publications, the reporter, the subject, and the types of questions expected. For especially important or sensitive interviews, we also prepare a set of challenging questions and review with our interviewee the various answers which would be in our client’s best interests.

Editorial Tours

Editorial tours can prove valuable opportunities for meeting with editors on an informal basis. One or two client executives and an agency representative visit appropriate business, trade and technical publications and industry consultants. We usually time such tours to take place immediately preceding tradeshows or major association events.

As many as five or more editorial meetings can take place in a day with breakfast, lunch and dinner meetings scheduled as convenient. Preparation of special press materials or audiovisual presentations are completed prior to the tour. Thorough follow-up ensures that the tours generate expected story coverage.

News Conference Planning and Coordination

Although the news conference is an accepted public relations technique, we reserve these events for truly major and significant announcements. We find that, in many cases, especially when dealing with several competing publications, the one-on-one interview, in the client’s office, neutral territory or during a tour is more effective.

When we do stage news conferences, we assume responsibility for selecting the media list; preparing special invitations; preparing press kits and other special materials; arranging time, place, refreshments and other logistics; briefing and rehearsing client participants; and handling important follow-up with individual reporters and editors.

Writing

We take pride in producing high quality editorial work. Our writing efforts on your behalf would include —

  1. News Releases — On-going news releases will cover new products, product enhancements, personnel appointments and promotions, plant and other facility expansions, pricing changes and, of course, key business developments such as contracts and marketing agreements.
  2. "Perspective" News Releases — The perspective release is a statement by an executive about an issue of importance to his or her industry. Such releases are effective in building recognition and respect for company executives. Editors frequently request these releases be expanded into longer viewpoint, guest editorial or opinion articles.
  3. Articles — We regularly generate features, application and case-history articles, as well as highly technical articles. After interviews of appropriate people, we do additional research, draft the article, submit it for approval, and place it in an appropriate publication. If your staff members prefer to write detailed articles themselves, we would provide guidance on the subject matter and style, editing services after the draft is written, and placement.
  4. Papers and Speeches — Speaking engagements at key industry events and forums provide important visibility. We can work with you to identify speaking opportunities and write speeches and papers. Each presentation also becomes an opportunity for generating news releases and other publicity, beyond the immediate audience.
  5. Editorial Calendar Reports — For each of our clients, we prepare an annual calendar of themed publications issues for the coming year. These are updated as new information becomes available through special periodicals which report last-minute activities of the press, or through our constant contact with editors and reporters. Frequently, early contact with the editor handling the round-up gives us an opportunity to suggest an approach most favorable to our client to assure a major — sometimes dominant — role in the issue.
Crisis Management

No one enjoys planning for a crisis. Many companies would prefer not to have to talk to customers, the press or even employees when crises occur. But open channels of communication enhance your company’s image in good times as well as bad. A crisis well-handled can build well-earned respect, as well as trust in company management. At Brigham Scully, we are always prepared to help you handle the unexpected and the unwelcome. We also attempt to anticipate crises to better prevent their occurrence.

Special Events

  1. Special Projects — Brigham Scully can assist with a wide range of special projects, such as press conferences, arranging editorial tours, organizing and managing community relations activities and open houses.
  2. Tradeshow Support — At any tradeshow, symposium, or seminar in which you participate, Brigham Scully can create special activities to maximize press coverage. Innovative approaches to the press are usually needed at tradeshows to differentiate a company and its products from its competitors. Preparation of press kits and arranging interviews, of course, are basic to tradeshow news coverage.
  3. Product Reviews— Reviews are regular editorial features in many publications. We contact appropriate editors, ship the pertinent information, and follow up as required to solicit reviews.
  4. Merchandising the Results — As various articles and stories appear, or speeches are given, we "merchandise" the results. This typically involves use of direct mail, handouts and other methods to get articles and speech reprints into the hands of wider audiences.
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