Three Steps to Maximize SEO Through PR

As the world becomes an increasingly digital place, potential clients, partners, donors and other key audiences are more and more likely to discover a brand or organization online. PR firms therefore must prioritize SEO and a client’s standing in search in their PR and communications strategies.

What Is SEO?

SEO, or search engine optimization, is the process of improving an organization’s standing in online search tools, ensuring that it shows up at the top of search results for its name, relevant terms and for its services or offerings. According to Google, SEO is about helping search engines understand and present content. Doing it well requires an understanding of how search engines work and employing tactics across owned and external links to improve the ranking of an organization. 

SEO & PR

Part of SEO belongs with SEO experts and web developers, for example optimizing site maps, URLS, etc., but public relations can play a pivotal role in SEO as by developing content for an organization’s website, supporting internal teams to develop the right language and links to employ across social media and most importantly, securing references and backlinks to the organizations on high-quality sites. This can include media hits that mention clients and link to their site or social media and also press releases that get picked up by hundreds of news sites throughout the country. 

Employing PR for SEO

There are three key roles PR can play in improving SEO for an organization. They are:

1. Keyword Optimization 

Take a look at almost any website, and you may quickly find that it is not fully taking advantage of proper keyword use. Search engines need to be able to understand what websites are about so that they can index and rank them accordingly. This doesn’t mean you should stuff a handful of keywords anywhere you can – this can actually lower your ranking as it can be read as spam. It means doing a little research and looking at the variety of ways people search for what you offer. For example, if someone is looking for a law firm to represent them after a car accident, they may search for “car accident law firm,” “car accident attorney,” “car accident lawyer,” “auto accident attorney,” and the list goes on.

Using simple keyword research tools can help you identify opportunities and ensure you capture the most popular terms. A good PR firm will use a variety of tools to make decisions on which keywords should be targeted. Once you’ve identified the proper keywords, integrate them into the places search engines weigh most heavily, such as your title tags, meta description tags, h1 tags and body copy.  
 

2. Link Building

Let’s be honest. Good link building is hard work. It can take a lot of time and be tedious to manage. This is precisely why most are not doing it. But the SEO community is united in the consensus that the number and quality of inbound links to a website is one of the most important factors when Google determines how highly that website should rank. What’s one of the best ways to get a large number of natural inbound links to your website from credible websites with high domain authority? Earning press coverage!  

A good PR firm will assist in getting online placements on authoritative news and informational websites. Some more advanced and contemporary link building activity includes using brand monitoring tools to find mentions of your company, product or service online and then manually reaching out to the website to provide a link. Regardless of how you decide to build links to your website, link building should be an ongoing effort. In the world of link building, slow and steady wins the race.  

3. Content Production 

If you truly want to garner a lot of traffic from those performing searches online, you will need a lot of content. Content adds to an organization’s online brand awareness, expertise and authority and  is how Google determines what your website is about and what phrases it should rank for. Make sure you use the keyword optimization information above when posting each article. Once your content production engine is running, find creative ways to repurpose that content for social posts, newsletter content, podcasts, guest blog posting, and so on. Your PR partner can work with you to offer suggestions to implement the right keywords across owned channels. 

Why You Should Consider An SEO Strategy

Great SEO is a team sport – it requires cooperation from an internal team, an SEO expert, content writers, web developers and a PR firm. With all working in coordination toward a shared goal, you too can be first in your audience’s search results. As a PR firm for nonprofit and mission-driven organizations, we work thoughtfully with your team to develop an SEO, media relations and content strategy to elevate you in the ranks of Google and other search engines.

Five Important Things Everyone Should Know About Public Relations

Public relations is often misunderstood. Sometimes you just know when you need it or more often when faced with the question of how to grow and reach more audiences, you’re told to seek out a PR team. But what is it really and how can it help your organization? 

The Fundamental Differences Between Public Relations and Marketing

1. Marketing And Public Relations Are Not The Same Thing

There is a stark difference between marketing and public relations. Marketing is targeted towards securing new paying customers and increasing sales, and it relies on paid tactics to reach an audience, for example through advertising.  

PR on the other hand is all about storytelling, reputation and most importantly, maintaining a good relationship with various stakeholders and investors. The magic of good public relations is that it builds trust with audiences and shapes the public image of a company. It does this by engaging third parties, such as news organizations, to tell their stories to audiences, strengthening organizational messaging and providing clarity and insight into an organization. 

2. Relationships Are One of The Most Important Parts of The Business

PR is all about relationship building. What does a client, donor or potential partner know and think about your organization? How do you get your target audience to understand who you are, what you offer and what you believe? PR. By telling the story of the organization, the impact it has had on its community and vision its leadership offers, you can build personal relationships with key audiences, moving far beyond transactional relationships. 

3. PR Works Best in Coordination With Your Existing Initiatives 

Public relations efforts will always be most successful when they’re partnered and coordinated with marketing, social media, web and fundraising and development initiatives. While PR can do immense good for an organization, it’s critical that the owned channels of an organization are relevant to the audience being targeted, offer clear and concise information and show demonstrated impact. 

For example, the first thing a reporter will do when contacted by an organization’s PR rep is to Google the organization to learn more and ensure it’s a trusted and reliable source. The same goes for audiences and critical stakeholders. If they learn about your organization through a segment on the news, it’s critical that the information they seek out on their own is consistent with the story they’ve been told. PR teams must work with internal teams and across existing channels to tell the holistic story of your organization.

4. Attention to Detail and Word Choice Are Critical

In today’s world, there’s little room for error for public organizations. Telling the right story in the right words requires the proper understanding of the politics of the moment and the interests and opinions of your audience. The role of a PR team is to understand what your audience cares about, where they get their news, how they understand your industry and what will move them to action. Through a properly-messaged PR campaign not only can you avoid controversy, you can change hearts and minds and convert audiences to your side. 

5. Any Business or Organization Can Benefit From PR Representation

Every business and organization can benefit from public relations. From social justice movements to for-profit businesses, engaging a PR team ensures that your message is being told in the right places to the right people, ultimately leading to social change, converted customers and goodwill for your brand and leadership. Reach out to learn more about how PR can serve you

How PR Can Help Your Business

Consider the plethora of ways public relations can benefit your organization. Maybe you’re planning a new expansion, seeking to rebrand your existing services or celebrating a major milestone to name a few examples. A talented public relations team can help your organization reach individuals and stakeholders unaware of your work, and help bring your programs and services to a new, broader audience. The TASC Group has been lucky enough to work with hundreds of grassroots organizations and movements. TASC knows what it takes to bring an organization to the next level with storytelling and strategic communication. Learn more about ways TASC can aid your mission.

Crafting an Effective Media List for Nonprofits and Mission-Driven PR Campaigns

When you have a story to share, reaching a wider audience starts with creating a comprehensive media list. Getting your content seen by potential consumers starts with creating a media list of outlets and contacts from those outlets which cater to your target market. 

Six Steps for Creating a Great Media List

1. Define Your PR Pitch 

Start by clearly defining your PR pitch. Whether it’s an executive interview or a product announcement for your non-profit, articulate what you’re offering to the media and why it matters. A well-defined pitch is essential for capturing the attention of journalists and gaining media coverage. Pitch writing consists of persuasion, creative thinking and storytelling. If what you’re sharing is relevant to the journalist, fewer than 200 words and highly readable — think short sentences, bullet points and subheads. 

2. Develop Multiple Angles

Consider multiple angles for your pitch that align with your target media outlets and their audiences. Figure out which approach best aligns with your goals and with those of the journalists. 

3. Choose the Right Timing 

Timing is a critical aspect of successful PR outreach. Determine when you want your content to be seen by your target audience. Quick-turnaround outlets like online platforms, daily newspapers, television, and radio are ideal for immediate exposure. For evergreen content, consider pitching to magazine publications. Evaluate your options and choose the timing that best suits your story.  

4. Thoroughly Research Contacts & Outlets 

Utilize databases and search engines to identify potential media outlets. Start with broad search terms and narrow down your list as you progress. Pay attention to journalists’ beats, cadence of publication and whether they receive pitches or not. Seek assistance from a PR agency if necessary to define your media list effectively. 

5. Understand Media Roles 

Consider the roles of potential contacts within media outlets. Editors-in-chief may focus more on the business aspects of the outlet, while staff writers or assignment editors are often looking for unique stories. Include multiple contacts from one outlet to ensure comprehensive coverage. 

6. Review and Supplement Your List 

After compiling your initial list, review it for any missing outlets or contacts. Use online resources like Google or ChatGPT to identify any overlooked opportunities. Continuously refine your list to ensure it’s comprehensive and up-to-date. 

Build Your Media List Today!

By following these six steps, you can create a robust media list that will enhance your public relations campaign’s success. A carefully curated media list ensures that your content reaches the right audience, increasing your chances of securing valuable media coverage. 

For more insights and expert guidance on PR strategy and media outreach, explore relevant news articles, such as those from A Good Cause and Glue Up.If you have further questions or need assistance with your PR campaign, feel free to reach out to The TASC Group today! Learn more about how The TASC Group’s award winning expertise can help you to strengthen, support and highlight your mission within the communities you serve.

Using PR Tactics to Navigate Your Holiday Dinners

PR skills come in handy in every aspect of our lives. Planning a surprise party for your roommate? That requires organizational skills, logistics management and discretion. Tailoring your resume to fit the 50+ jobs you’re applying for? You’ll need research, focus and proofreading skills. Writing a memoir about your successful career as a CEO? You’ll want to ensure that you’ve got writing, messaging and top-notch storytelling skills. 

And difficult holiday dinners with that uncle you try your best to only see once a year? Well, we have some PR skills for that too. 

5 Tips and Tricks for Family Dinners

1. Define Your Talking Points – and Stick to Them 

In most interview situations, we tend to think that the interviewer will direct the conversation and there won’t be room for the interviewee to make any additional points. But keep in mind that you don’t always have to take the lead from the person questioning you – you can (within reason) discuss and direct answers to your own areas of focus. 

The question to ask yourself is this: No matter how many questions you get about your political views, what message is it that you want to get across this holiday season? Is it that you are thankful to be spending time with your children? That you’ve progressed dramatically in your career and finally landed that promotion? That you’ve made a new really good friend?  

Write out (or mentally map out) the three main things you want to share and focus on in your conversations with your friends and family during your holiday dinner – and stick to them! 

2. Know Your Audience  

When communicating a particular message, it’s critical to know your audience. Who are you trying to reach with this message? Your customers? Your donors? Your 6-year old niece? And what is your goal with these conversations?  

Depending on your intended audience and what you want to accomplish, you should be tailoring how you communicate your core messages for maximum impact. 

3. Deflect and Redirect 

No matter how much you try to change the conversation, sometimes people want to hammer a point home and you can’t easily escape it. What you can do, however, is to do your best to deflect and redirect the conversation.  

“Uncle Jim, as much as I’d love to talk about my bad breakup this year, what I really want to do is show you the new car I just bought.”  

Never answer a question you don’t want to answer – just ensure you’re using the right language to deflect and move on to other topics.  

4. Talk Less, Listen More 

This may be more a Life Pro Tip than a PR tip, but a key characteristic of successful dialogue is respectful listening. Listen to what your cousin Mary is saying before formulating a response in your head. This will allow for more organic conversation and for all parties to feel heard.  

You will also appear to be (and actually be) thoughtful in your conversations.  

5. Manage the Crisis 

So, what happens when you’re the one who ends up putting their foot in their mouth? Own it. Apologize – and mean it. Communicate to the offended party that you’ve learned your lesson and plan to actively do better. The best defense in any crisis is learning and growing from mistakes, and by openly admitting your wrongdoing you display a level of emotional maturity that your family will respect and be proud of. 

Overall, Public Relations Helps in All Areas 

In all seriousness, public relations is a skilled trade that can benefit everyone, from the individual to an entire nonprofit organization to the CEO of a Fortune 500 corporation.  

The most important thing to remember is that keeping your broader goals in mind will help you keep perspective, keep your cool and let you focus on what is really important during any holiday – friends, family, food and fun.

The Anatomy of a Social Media “Riot”

By the time police arrived, Union Square was severely overcrowded. Within the park’s nine acres, thousands of young onlookers had gathered for what was supposed to be a gift giveaway hosted by Twitch-personality Kai Cenat. Drawn by the promise of free Play Stations and the chance to meet a social media celebrity, thousands of teenagers had traveled to the park. 

When the crowd, predominantly an audience of youthful teenage boys, clashed with police, things escalated quickly. In dozens of videos shared across YouTube and other social media platforms, police collar the young attendees. One video captures a police officer slamming a teenage boy through a taxi cab’s back window. By the end of the day, several people were seriously injured, 60+ people were arrested and Union Square Park sustained over $55,000 in property damage. Cenat, the influencer who had sparked the gathering with posts made on Twitch days before, was charged by police with “unlawful gathering” and “inciting a riot.”

As police investigate this incident further and Cenat faces a court date, it’s worth considering the broader context of social media relationships and the unpredictable power of influencers to catalyze mass action in physical reality. In an age defined by Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and dozens of other social networks, what role do social media personalities have in driving people to action? What can happen when an influencer with a cult following asks their followers to do something? To answer the latter, we must first understand the phenomena known as parasocial relationships. 

Defined as “a one-sided relationship where one person creates an emotional attachment and invests their time and energy, while the other party doesn’t know of the other person’s existence,” parasocial relationships are a hallmark of social media users, especially younger users post-pandemic.

In a recent study by Wellesley College’s Youth Media and Well-Being Research Lab, researchers found that 90 percent of kids have social media by the time they turn 12 (7th grade for context). With the advent of coronavirus, lockdown and the implementation of remote learning in 2020, millions of teenagers leaned harder on social media to maintain physically distanced relationships and monitor ever-evolving news. In the process, many gravitated to familiar faces, screentime soared and the popularity of specialized, social media personalities rose with it. 

These relationships are built on constant content, frequent user interaction and intensely personal exchanges occurring several times a day. Intimacy is key. 

Most influencers cultivate a following over time, then use these followers to secure lucrative brand deals and partnerships. While encouraging your fans to buy a product or use a service is commonplace, the power of influencers to mobilize fans in real life beyond just buying a product, to encourage them to go somewhere and do something, is still unpredictable and relatively immeasurable.

In the case of Cenat, he unwittingly baited followers to do something dangerous. What was meant to be a good time, short giveaway and brief interaction, became something much more serious. Another interesting element here, the gathering was sparked by a relatively small medium.

If you’re unfamiliar with Twitch, it’s a social media platform best known for live-streaming events, including video game tournaments and product reviews. The platform hosts approximately 140M active monthly users. For context, that’s 1/3 of X’s (formerly Twitter) monthly audience, less than 1/4 of Tiktok’s and barely 1/20 of Meta’s. Cenat, the influencer at the heart of this scandal, is one of Twitch’s most followed creators. To date, he has over 6.5M subscribers and he posts content daily. 

This “riot” resulted from a perfect storm of circumstances. Post-pandemic teens, a diligently followed social media personality, the rise of parasocial relationships, the promise of a free, coveted product, a general lack of awareness about and unpredictability of calls to action on social media – these all melded together to create a moment New York City was unprepared for, yet one we can learn from. As communicators who often partner with influencers like Cenat or work with clients including city departments or public policymakers, we must be prepared. 

It is important that we understand how to predict, understand and measure the power these online figures have to mobilize their followers. Frankly, we must acknowledge this power exists in the first place. Most importantly, we must work towards ensuring and encouraging online personalities to use their influence for good. 

Rebuilding Public Trust: The Vital Role of PR Professionals in a Skeptical News Landscape

In an era marked by rapid technological advancements and a relentless surge of information, public trust in news organizations has reached an all-time low. The pervasive influence of social media, coupled with a barrage of misinformation, has fueled skepticism among audiences, leading to a growing sense of mistrust in traditional news outlets. As this crisis of credibility deepens, the role of public relations professionals and the communications industry becomes increasingly pivotal in restoring faith in the media landscape. 

Understanding Modern Day Media

1. Democratization of Information

The advent of digital platforms has democratized information dissemination, allowing for a plethora of voices to be heard. However, it has also given rise to the spread of unverified and sensationalized content that blurs the lines between facts and falsehoods. This information overload has left the public grappling with uncertainty and skepticism and rebuilding trust has become imperative. A recent study by the Gallup and Knight Foundation, “American Views 2022: Part 2,” sheds light on the state of public mistrust in news organizations. The study found that over 50 percent of respondents reject the statement that “national news organizations do not intend to mislead.” Only a quarter of respondents supported this statement. In other words, Americans perceive their news organizations as deceptive.  

2. Ethical Storytelling

At the forefront of this battle for credibility stand public relations professionals and the communications industry. As communications experts, we bridge the gap between news organizations and their audiences. By fostering transparent and authentic relationships with reporters, public relations practitioners can pave the way for open communication and credible reporting. 

Ethical storytelling is the “sharing of narratives committed to honesty, accuracy and empathy, with an awareness of their potential impact on people’s lives.” This is one key strategy that public relations practitioners can collectively employ to do our part in ensuring that truthful and honest information remains centered in society. By embracing the principles of ethical storytelling in our work—transparency, accuracy, empathy and responsibility—professionals in public relations and the wider communications sector can play a role in helping journalists and news organizations restore public trust in them and the information they provide through unbiased, comprehensive coverage that contributes to a more informed and engaged society. 

3. PR Professionals’ Crucial Role in The Information Overload Era

Public relations professionals can champion ethical storytelling by urging news organizations to focus on narratives that represent reality, are based on facts and resonate with the public’s values and concerns. We can offer journalists first-person perspectives from a variety of sources to provide holistic stories, call out the significance of transparent and ethical communication within our industry and correct situations where the media provides false information or deliberately confuses the public with messages that are detrimental or lack factual basis. 

In Closing

By promoting ethical storytelling and approaching our work with empathy and open-mindedness, news outlets will connect with their audiences on a deeper level based on trust. The decline in public trust in news organizations is a complex issue that demands immediate attention. As we navigate this era of information overload, the partnership between news organizations and PR practitioners will be the cornerstone of restoring faith in the fourth estate.

Ohio Train Derailment: Public Relations in Holding Institutions Accountable

On February 3, 2023, the freight train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio resulted in alarming amounts of toxic chemicals released into the atmosphere and subsequent evacuation orders. In a town where residents were already facing socioeconomic obstacles, this disaster exacerbated safety and quality of life concerns.

Nearly a year has passed, and residents continue to face disarray. Many are residing in motels due to legitimate concerns, either fearing to return or facing official prohibitions during the ongoing cleanup. Even those who have returned express significant apprehension about the quality of air, water, and soil. Some have reported worsened health problems, going so far as to describe living there as similar to being in an apocalyptic movie.

Property value reduction, long-term health ailments and mental health issues are just a few causes of distress for residents. This incident sickened and displaced many in the community. It catalyzed previous conversations about safety precautions and the location of such railroads which are disproportionately placed in lower-income, often Indigenous, communities of color.

Part of a Larger Issue

While derailments have decreased by more than three quarters since the 1970’s according to federal data, large freight railroads have seen an increase in derailments in five of the last seven years. Large freight railroad companies began introducing precision-scheduled railroading in 2016 to enhance efficiency by running fewer trains on tighter schedules. Intending to cut expenses, trains tend to be longer and heavier to transport as much cargo as possible. Tighter scheduling to cut costs could arguably be the cause of increased human error, equipment and track failure.

Despite historic activist outcry regarding train route placement in marginalized communities, industry leaders say that most derailments occur within the confines of rail yards and make public statements focusing on train safety in comparison to other modes of transportation such as driving. This deliberate disregard for ostracized community concerns is unfortunately common practice by many corporations and public officials.

The Biden Administration made a statement committing to visit East Palestine but has not followed through and has continued to defend its response to this toxic freight train derailment, even as local leaders demand increased efforts and clarity around the long-term effects of the disaster.

The Value of PR in Crisis

When disasters happen as a result of corporations’ carelessness, public relations is often thought of only in terms of damage control for the company responsible. But PR practitioners are also responsible for utilizing their expertise to aid the communities impacted by such tragedies.

PR professionals play a significant role in crisis communications, especially concerning the initial and long-term response to such events. During the initial phases of a crisis, PR professionals must work with journalists and their clients to galvanize public awareness and financial contributions. Long-term responses involve recognizing the reality that our world today is afflicted by a plethora of problems that deserve attention and require resources and thus doing our part to ensure that those affected are not forgotten.

In the case of the train derailment in East Palestine where the long-term health implications of this event are largely unknown, pushing for thorough monitoring of the water and air quality is critical. Long-term coverage, media attention and connecting media to those on the ground who can tell their stories is paramount to holding Norfolk Southern Corporation accountable. We must put pressure on government officials to enact better safety regulations and to address the socioeconomic implications. A primary responsibility in this response must also be to encourage continued research into health hazards associated with spilled chemicals such as vinyl chloride and phosgene.

The issue of train derailments has been a historic point of contention, often affecting communities already facing additional deprivation and disparity. PR for situations intertwined with oppression such as this involves amplifying community voices, extending our resources, connecting with our audiences to encourage additional assistance and monitoring media and social platforms for the vocalized needs of those impacted.

The Power of Intentional PR 

As we move forward, we must keep those affected a priority by encouraging our clients to contribute when appropriate. All the while, no initiative should merely be intended for press opportunities. As with the PR tactics surrounding any tragedy, the intention must be to benefit those impacted by raising awareness and resources, magnifying the needs of the affected community and educating the public on ways to prevent similar events.To learn more about how TASC can help advise your organization on intentional and purposeful messaging during a conflict, check out our PR and Communications services.

Public Relations in Advancing Environmental Justice

In our current era, the ominous specter of escalating climate change and the relentless onslaught of natural disasters have thrust the imperative of environmental justice into the forefront of the global consciousness. The challenge at hand extends beyond the mere reduction of carbon emissions; it necessitates a collective effort to sequester existing carbon and address the multifaceted impacts on communities around the world. As public relations professionals operating within the nonprofit sector, our role becomes increasingly pivotal in not only understanding but also effectively communicating and mobilizing support for environmental justice initiatives.

Building Momentum Through PR

The power of public relations lies in its ability to shape narratives and catalyze action. By strategically leveraging public relations strategies, we can build momentum around environmental justice issues, capturing the attention and support of clients, donors and stakeholders. In an era where social justice considerations weigh heavily in the decisions of individuals and organizations regarding the causes they support, it is crucial to maintain a focus on the cause itself rather than succumbing to the allure of self-promotion. True dedication to making a meaningful difference, rather than seeking mere notoriety, forms the bedrock of impactful PR campaigns in the realm of environmental justice.

Learning from History

History serves as an instructive guide, and the Love Canal incident in Niagara Falls stands as a testament to the power of public relations advocacy in the realm of environmental justice. The Love Canal Homeowners Association (LCHA) effectively utilized PR to address the detrimental health outcomes resulting from chemical waste dumping. Prioritizing resident concerns in their communication, LCHA succeeded in securing a $20,000,000 settlement for affected residents. This historical precedent underscores the efficacy of strategic public relations efforts in achieving justice for communities impacted by environmental crises.

Addressing Disparities in Impact

A fundamental aspect of advancing environmental justice is the recognition of the disproportionate impact of climate change on lower-income communities, communities of color and Indigenous communities. As PR professionals committed to environmental advocacy, acknowledging and addressing these disparities is not only an ethical imperative but also a strategic necessity. By incorporating PR strategies that amplify the voices of marginalized communities, we strengthen the fabric of environmental justice campaigns and foster a more inclusive approach to advocacy.

Crafting Hopeful Communication

In the face of the often bleak discourse surrounding climate change, effective communication that provides hope becomes essential. The role of public relations extends beyond mere information dissemination; it involves crafting narratives that inspire and uplift. By highlighting clients’ environmental progressions and showcasing tangible positive outcomes, PR professionals contribute to a more optimistic narrative, fostering engagement and instilling a sense of collective responsibility.

Elevating Human Stories

In a media landscape saturated with information, human stories emerge as powerful instruments for connecting with audiences on a profound level. Elevating the voices of individuals positively impacted by environmental initiatives humanizes the climate crisis. By integrating real people and their stories into PR campaigns, professionals can create a more relatable and compelling narrative, resonating authentically with the target audience.

The Role of PR in Achieving Environmental Justice

As we fervently strive for advancements in environmental justice, the role of effective communication through PR becomes a linchpin for maximizing mitigation efforts. By strategically employing public relations to educate, inspire hope and amplify the voices of those affected, PR professionals find themselves at the forefront of catalyzing the transformative changes needed in our approach to environmental challenges. The TASC Group has worked with several major environmental justice campaigns, to learn more about how TASC can work with your organization, please visit our website and review some of our grassroots case studies.

The Importance of Content Creation for Clients

The worlds of public relations and communications are multi-faceted. One of the most important parts of the industry is getting to know the inner workings of your clients so that you can create content that successfully bolsters their reputations and garners positive media attention.

Traditionally, ways of creating, sharing and viewing client content were limited to drafting op-eds, pitch materials and creating fact sheets, among other information providing collateral. As of late, PR and communications professionals have been looking to social media platforms to strengthen their strategies. LinkedIn, Meta (Facebook), Instagram, TikTok and Pinterest are among the most relevant social media networks from a PR perspective.

The benefits of traditional content creation still hold true. Op-eds and blogs are great ways for the public to gain insight through the media into a client’s opinions, thought processes, etc. on different subject matters and can lead to thought-leadership opportunities and partnerships with other like-minded individuals or organizations. The same goes for pitch materials, particularly with quotes or citations, and fact sheets with client information.

Social media has become an integral part of PR and communications plans for many organizations. The content created and social platforms used are dependent on the type of client. Nonprofit, social advocacy, legal and financial clients are more likely to use LinkedIn, Meta and Instagram, while fashion, beauty and consumer/lifestyle brands are likely to add TikTok and Pinterest into the mix.

For example, BlackRock, an American multinational investment company effectively uses LinkedIn to stand out as a thought-leader and advertise their services. Their content consists of infographic clips as well as testimonials. BlackRock knows their audience well, which allows them to curate specific content and decide which social media platforms to utilize. The company understands their audience exists on LinkedIn and is interested in reading niche blogs and learning financial jargon.

ASOS is a British online fashion and cosmetic company with over one million followers and 14 million likes on TikTok. They know a lot of their demographic resides on TikTok. ASOS follows all the trends and is very aware of what their audience wants to see. Their videos are lightly edited which make them more relatable and re-creatable to the audience. They advertise their products through  videos of unboxings and styling people in creative environments.

The consumer’s attention span is decreasing due to the rise of social media. People do not want to read long posts or videos, but instead get their information quickly. Knowing the client’s target audience and understanding the idea of palatable content will lead to successful media campaigns. LinkedIn posts for one audience may not work for another, strategies are subjective. It is crucial to understand where a client’s demographic resides in order to produce the best content.

How to Manage Public Relations in Times of War

The Russia-Ukraine war has gripped the world’s attention, dominated media headlines and captured the concern of people worldwide. As the conflict unfolds, companies are stepping forward to express their solidarity with Ukraine through various measures, ranging from providing free housing for refugees to halting business operations in Russia. Amid these tumultuous times, public relations professionals find themselves at the forefront, advising companies on how to navigate the delicate balance between corporate engagement and genuine support for a humanitarian crisis. 

Here are key guidelines to consider when managing client queries during such challenging times.

Three Things to Consider

1. Advising Against Self-Promotion

One crucial piece of counsel for companies seeking to engage with the ongoing conflict is to fervently advise against any form of self-promotion during times of crisis. Attempting to capitalize on a war, especially for financial gain, can lead to severe backlash and reputational damage. Media scrutiny is intense, with reporters quick to identify and criticize any attempts at leveraging a humanitarian crisis for personal benefit. An insightful Buzzfeed article highlighted instances of responses to the Russia-Ukraine war being labeled as “cringe-worthy” and “insensitive,” such as an author urging people to buy his book. As PR advisors, it is imperative to conduct a thorough risk-assessment exercise, outlining potential concerns and ensuring that the company’s actions are aligned with ethical standards.

2. Staying in Their Lane

Encouraging clients to stay in their lane is a fundamental principle when navigating political discourse. While expressing humanitarian support for Ukraine is commendable, clients should refrain from putting a tangential spin on geopolitical matters, especially when they lack genuine expertise or insight. Proactively pitching clients to speak on issues outside their domain can reflect poorly on the brand and may be perceived as opportunistic. Instead, public relations professionals should recommend that clients avoid inserting themselves into conversations that have not sought their input, maintaining a focus on genuine and relevant contributions.

3. Establishing Standards for Cause Support

With multiple conflicts occurring globally, it’s essential to discuss standards for engaging in political and social discussions with clients. The media’s prioritization of certain conflicts over others is a reality, and clients should be aware of the potential consequences of their public stances. Candid conversations about the company’s guidelines for participating in discussions related to human rights and political matters are crucial. Inconsistencies, such as publicly supporting one conflict while discouraging internal discussions on similar issues, may expose the company to accusations of double standards. Proactively setting guidelines and adhering to them ensures that the client’s engagement is transparent and less susceptible to reputational damage.

Public Relations is Important in Conflict

The role of public relations professionals in times of war goes beyond traditional communication strategies; it involves ethical guidance and responsible engagement. By advising against self-promotion, encouraging clients to stay within their expertise and establishing clear standards for cause support, public relations professionals can help companies navigate the complex landscape of global conflicts while preserving their integrity and reputation. In an era where corporate responsibility is under constant scrutiny, thoughtful and principled engagement is paramount.

Have questions about how to handle your messaging during a conflict? Need a strategy on how to reach your audiences during unrest? Check out our PR and Communications services, and see how TASC can help.

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