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Jul 20, 2010

PR Tip 101: What is Public Relations and How is it Relevant for You?

Samantha Jones Public RelationsWhen approaching this topic, two things come to mind: The emails I receive from people who say they just need help getting press and the Samantha Jones from Sex and The City and her famous tag-line, “Samantha Jones, Public relations.”  To many people in the wedding industry, public relations is somewhat of a nebulous thing floating between marketing and advertising or they think it is a compilation of the two, while others think it is just getting into magazines and on television. Here is the text book explanation of what it really is as explained by PR News online, “Public relations is the management function which evaluates public attitude, identifies the policies and procedures of an individual or an organization with the public interest, and plans and executes a program of action to earn public understanding and patience.” The Leila definition is a little more simple and states, “Public relations is the management function which evaluates one’s actual and perceived value, and creates and implements a plan to enhance and maintain both.”

A solid wedding PR plan is not based solely on press placement and will rarely be effective if your branding/online presence,  portfolio work, networking and industry contacts are not up to par. With my wedding PR  coaching program I often hear my clients saying one of their top priorities is to get press and almost every time I tell them it’s not going to be in their next 1-5 steps. There is a lot to do before you start promoting yourself.

Here are 5 components of Wedding Public Relations:

1) Research: Thoroughly understand not only your company but your clients and potential clients. How well do you meet their needs? What do you offer that is unique or special?

2)Strategic Planning: Identify your target audience, your marketing goals, and what needs to be done to actualize these goals.

3) Communication: Your outward communication to vendors, clients, and media is one of THE most important uses of PR. You screw someone.. guess what?? That’s bad PR. They are going to talk about it. When you are emailing and reaching out that is your brand speaking loud and clear. Are you portraying yourself accurately?

4) Internal Relations: Employees are your internal audience and good staff is hard to find. They are a reflection of your company and how you operate it. Be sure that your internal relations (including your own relations with others) is on point!

5) Publicity: Simply put as said by PR guru, Eric Yaverbaum “getting ink and air time!”

Image found on : Guide Spot

5 Reasons WHY Wedding Public Relations is Necessary and Relevant for you:

1) You’re a little Fish in a Big Pond: So how do you stand out?

2) Your wedding product or service is the best and nobody knows about it.

3) Traditional marketing is not working as well as it used to:  Public Relations is the most cost effective form of marketing.

4) Your wedding business competitors get all the good press.

5) In a down economy wedding companies are forced to get more creative in the way they make their services appear necessary and relevant.

(again the above are inspired by PR guru Eric Yaverbaum)

Where are you at in developing your public relations plan? Do you really need a publicist? Often times the answer is no, but if we can help you get on the right path, let us know!

  • Meg

    Hi Leila,

    I really like your definition of PR – it strikes a balance between the marketing, measurement, and strategic management sides of the profession. In my experience, many people confuse publicity with public relations. While I do believe publicity and media relations are components of PR, the foundation of it is building mutual, beneficial relationships between an organizations and its audiences – both internal and external. I also think it’s interesting to see how social media is adding another role for many PR pros – where the company can directly interact with consumers. There is a major need for communications professionals to provide counsel on how to best spark and manage these conversations.

    This post provides a great overview of what PR practitioners do and how those in the wedding industry can use these services.

    Thanks for sharing!

  • Love this. Great thoughts on PR.

  • Hi Leila,

    As a marketing professional who has been working alongside PR firms for the past ten years building brands and executing brand launches, I, for one, can not express enough the Power of PR. Interestingly enough, as I begin to expand the services of my agency and capabilities for offerings, PR is the number one component on the list of “Things We Must Have”.

    Great article in bringing awareness to how PR helps to bridge the gap between the brand and the demographic.

    ~Socialite Extraordinaire~

  • Ellen

    You reference Eric Yaverbaum in a couple of places. His career is inspiring. While I’m a little less than than impressed at him so narrowly defining “publicity” (I’ve heard him speak several times and there was an awful lot more he mentioned). Never the less, he is terrific to watch and get idea’s from. Read his book in college (required reading) and marvel at what he seems to do effortlessly. Anyway I have a google alert on him so I picked up your blog. Well done!

    (Coincidentally I know he is related to the musician Peaches. Maybe his wife? Not sure. Thought you were going to give us some good Hollywood gossip)

  • This post is WONDERFUL! I love how realistic you are about PR. Small businesses so often don’t realize that so much goes into public image before getting their name in print. Work on what’s in your control (branding, niche, image, communication, message) first… Then onward! Thanks Layla!

  • Hi Leila,
    Love this post – very helpful! I am working on the foundation of my company and looking forward to working with you sooner than later.

  • Hi Leila,

    I really love this post. It’s helpful information and I love all the info you have to share with all of us in this fabulous industry.

  • This is such a fabulous post. I absolutely love your definition of PR, it’s short and directly to the point. I’m a senior public relations major in RI and look forward to one day reaching your altitude of success. I’m so impressed with all you do!


    Sarah Beron

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