GG’s Morgan Schare explains how public relations strategies can be applied across different client industries – from corporate to consumer communications.
As a communications professional who has worked across a multitude of consumer clients – beauty industry, retail, and food & beverage – I can confidently say that my experience working in corporate communications has been my greatest asset when developing and executing public relations strategies for my clients in the consumer industry. While in many ways there isn’t much crossover between industries, there are many surprising ways that one can inform the other when it comes to communications.
For example, just as we closely align our communications goals with our corporate clients’ business goals, we do the same with consumer clients. The same strategy can be applied when identifying goals for consumer clients. Success often looks different from client to client, but, in the case of the consumer industry, success often is directly correlated to product sales. In using the media as an outlet to bring in new audience members and retain customers, our efforts directly align with the sales team to support the overall business.
Corporate clients should also take a page out of the consumer communications playbook as brands are often bolder with their media strategies.
A major component of consumer communications is sending samples of new products and releases to journalists to try for themselves. This tactic allows a reporter to form their own opinion about a product and make an honest recommendation to their readers – and it also helps to build a stronger relationship between the brand and the reporter.
While corporate clients often don’t have products in the traditional sense, like a beauty product or beverage, it’s always important to think outside the box and identify new and unique ways to engage with journalists. If your company is launching a new program or software or launching a new website or design – offer a first look to a journalist. If a program can be tested, invite a group of reporters to try it out at your company headquarters. This will make your company stand out and will also allow for direct questions from the reporter. Product testing also drives genuine and detailed feature stories in key industry publications.
If there’s a trendy news topic that your organization is passionate about – host an event with an industry trade publication to talk about it. The event can be a panel discussion where your company experts discuss a topic with several journalists from a publication or the event can be a fundraiser to raise money for a worthy cause that’s connected to your industry. This type of event paves the way for a strong relationship with a key industry publication while demonstrating the expertise of your organization’s stakeholders.
Consumer brands often partner with a publication for events, product releases, and more. When custom beauty was on the rise, Elle Magazine partnered with Verishop, a shopping platform, to host several livestreamed shopping events that were run by the magazine’s beauty director. These events are mutually beneficial as they allow publications to tap into industry trends on a personal level and engage with readers directly, while companies get the opportunity to forge relationships with editors and reporters.
While inviting reporters to test a product or hosting an industry event is not always possible, it’s important to connect with your audiences in different ways and continue to keep reporters engaged. There are many other options available to you, such as in-person meetings with journalists and maintaining a steady cadence of outreach beyond big announcements. What’s important is to not be afraid to try something new.