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The Three Essential Parts of PR

Hi Nancy here. I wanted to share my most basic vision of PR with you in this week’s edition of Wednesday Witty Wisdom.

I often think about PR in terms of three basic things:


(If only there was an “m” word for audience so I could give you the three “M’s” of PR!)

First, it’s important to define your message. What are you trying to say? Break it down into a sound bite, if possible. A seven-second sound bite is ideal for the media although if it has to be a bit longer to communicate your message, so be it. Brevity and simplicity work best.

Next we are going to skip over the medium right to the audience. Who are you trying to communicate your message to? What medium or media do they consume? Do they listen to NPR? Do they read Smithsonian Magazine? Are they on Facebook or Twitter? Where do they get their information?

Now we look at the second thing, which is the medium, or how you connect your message to your audience.  There may be many things on this list, such as direct mail, e-newsletters, press releases to specific media outlets, special events, etc. but make sure you only list media that are consumed by your targeted audience. You don’t want to use Twitter for 90 year olds who live in nursing homes. That’s an extreme example, but hopefully I made my point.

Does your message go through the right mediums to reach your audience?

If your PR plan breaks down its components into these three basic items, you’ll be well on your way to a winning strategy.




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4 Responses to The Three Essential Parts of PR

  • Michael Brokordt says:

    Why do you start first with your message? Wouldn’t it be better if you first know what audience you want to reach in terms of needs and behavior to determine what the exact message will be?

    If you have a message but the audience is just a small market is that reasonable?

    My thought is: Audience, Message and Medium.

  • Michael:
    You make a very good point and I would be happy to discuss it with you. My thinking is that the organization usually knows what it wants to communicate, such as “Support our fundraiser,” or “Buy our products,” but the message might be tweaked according to the specific interests of the audience. Obviously the message must resonate with the audience, but the audience isn’t going to know what the organization has to say until the message is developed. Does that make sense?

    I feel that it is all very interconnected. If your message doesn’t resonate at all with the audience, then you’re not going to engage them at all.

    In response to your second question, sometimes you only need to impact a small ‘market.’ For example if you are trying to impact the legislators from your district, you might only be communicating with one representative and one senator, so two people might constitute your entire audience. Or if you are trying to sell your house, you only need to find that one ideal buyer. If the first person who walks through the door to look at the house is the ideal buyer, then you only need to reach that one person with your marketing message.

    Let me know if you want to talk offline or continue the conversation right here!

  • Michael Brokordt says:

    Hello Nancy,

    It seems that it would be a very interesting conversation offline. Let us meet next week. My LinkedIn profile has my contact data.

    I am looking forward to hearing from you.


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