Creating the Perfect PR Team

Every brand should have a story, and every customer of that brand should connect that product or service with that story. Without a story, consumers are left to buy on price or convenience, benefits that are easily beaten in tight markets that often will not allow new players to get a foothold in a crowded market.

But what if that newcomer had a compelling story? Something that connected with the target market in a way they couldn’t get out of their minds? Something alive with energy and excitement, a solution delivered in the way most people remember best: through a story.

Brands that understand the power of a story, and those that at least want to explore that as a marketing or advertising option, are smart to build a dedicated public relations (PR) team, either in-house or by outsourcing PR professionals.

The roles and responsibilities on any given PR team may shift from campaign to campaign or product to product, but there are a few vital guidelines that every effective PR team must keep in mind.

Applicable Skills Matter

Outstanding PR teams have brilliant storytellers, who understand how to craft compelling and engaging content and copy. This could include journalists, copywriters, content writers, directors, graphic artists, videographers, public speakers, and scriptwriters. The group should bring a diverse background across various industries or media formats to the table. Get all the members of the team from the same industry, and there’s a risk of too much overlap or duplication of perspectives and ideas.

Buy-In is Essential

A PR team could have all the right skills in all the right places on the proverbial team bus, but if those people do not understand the vision and mission – and they have not completely signed on – it’s going to be a bumpy ride. Conflicting perspectives and priorities will short-circuit campaigns and complicate operations that could otherwise be smooth and seamless.

Story is Foundational

Once the team is in place, they should meet with fundamental stakeholders and visionaries to craft a story that reflects the unique value proposition of the brand and resonates with the customer base. What is the purpose of the business, and what is the reason behind it? What makes the brand unique and interesting. This story will play some part in crafting everything the brand does going forward.

Great Questions

If a PR team is not curious, find a new team. That’s pretty blunt, but it’s very true. Curiosity is a vital component of a successful PR team as the team members should want to know about the business, its vision and goals, and they should be endlessly curious about what makes the people in the target market tick. This might begin with understanding and building the brand’s story, but that’s just the beginning.

PR is Part of the Business Plan

Public relations should not be relegated to a silo, set apart from the rest of the daily operations of the brand. Effective teams play a key role in both the present and future plans of the brand. PR team members should stay engaged with research, development, sales, and distribution. There’s often a mountain of stories there, ready to be mined. 

Good PR Teams Know How to Listen

What is the audience saying? What do they mean? These are not always the same thing, and assumptions here create further miscommunication and misunderstanding. Good PR teams take the feedback as it is, raw and unfiltered, and they engage with that directly, gathering insight rather than offense. 

Follow these guidelines and create an effective, connective, story, and a strong, successful PR team.