You have to believe in it yourself before you can convince other people of the power of PR and become a PR champion.
And why wouldn’t you?
Bill Gates has been quoted in countless articles, publications, blog posts, graphic pull-outs and across social media for saying:
“If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations.”
And there is a very good reason for that - PR is the key communications medium because it has that third party credibility that any marketing or advertising, no matter how ‘clever’ or ‘targeted’ it may be, cannot provide.
Ok I’m in but my stakeholders aren’t
If effective PR – or PR of any sort - is not happening within your institution, the key to getting your stakeholders' sign off is to show them what the competition are doing.
Analyse the competitors you are realistically up against – see what they are doing and the sort of coverage they are achieving, present this to your stakeholders and explain what a disadvantage they are being put at by not doing the same themselves. Cold hard evidence is tough to argue with.
I’m in, my stakeholders are in – what else do I need to do to become a PR champion?
Make sure you’re engaging with the right people – the people who make it work, the people that will be quoted - senior management, the marketing community within your institution, and most importantly your faculty.
Within business education and higher education PR, one of the most powerful things to publicise is the fantastic research that takes place within the institution. There is an enormous appetite for this type of content if you find the right place for it - there is only so much going to be written about trends in education but a good piece of research has endless potential.
But to be a true PR champion you need to get all your key stakeholders on board to understand not just what PR can achieve, but what they are going to get out of it themselves. So, for example, by engaging in PR your academics are doing good work for the institution that pays their salaries, but at the same time they’re achieving publicity for themselves and their own research, so it’s of mutual benefit.
Want more advice? Register now for our webinar on how to do international PR for business schools.
Author: Adrian Barrett