Public relations is vital to ensure brand awareness and community value through the stories pitched and shared.
Welcome to another installment of our PR Strategy Series, where you can learn directly from top industry experts on how you can leverage media attention to grow your business.
Today we are talking about how you can grow your PR career by highlighting parts of a conversation I had over at Authority Magazine with Jacqueline Crane.
Jacqueline is the Director of PR at Relic Advertising. She has experience in both secondary and primary research, as well as experience writing press releases, social media posts, blogs, brochures, itineraries, travel guides, and more. She is also a co-host for the Influencer Marketing for Destinations Podcast.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?
Mypassion for public relations started with an interest in relationships and how various messages can be delivered to different audiences. When I found public relations as a designated major in college, I knew I found a place to belong. I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in public relations from Brigham Young University with minors in business and music. My goal at the time was to potentially work in the music industry.
From there, I learned and experienced some challenges such as proving the worth of PR and explaining the importance of media coverage in business. This experience inspired me to pursue further education of a master’s degree in business administration (MBA). After marrying a professional musician, I was confidently equipped with the knowledge of running a small business that would be effective for him as well as any higher position I would aspire to.
After doing many smaller projects in the music industry, I found a full-time job in the next best thing — tourism. I started working as a PR/content coordinator at Relic helping small destinations around the country message unique offerings to worldwide audiences. I have loved it and still love it today.
As a successful business leader in the PR space, which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success?
I love to read — so I’ll share three character traits in conjunction with books I’ve read that helped me through the situations I’ve experienced.
1 . Hard work ethic — “Designing Your Life” by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans:
One of my most prominent characteristic traits is obvious and noticeable to past and present coworkers — my discipline and work ethic. This came from a determination as a teen and young adult to do my best and get A’s in school (I’ll admit readily that it didn’t always happen). I’ve always wanted to put forth my best in order to gain the vision I’ve laid out for myself. As I worked hard, I diligently studied, took copious notes and excessively read books and articles to help balance out what many said wasn’t enough real-world experience for my age. No one can experience everything, so I find the knowledge and theories I learn from others helps me effectively execute (and juggle) work and life.
2. Communication — “Crucial Conversations” by Patterson, Granny, McMillan and Switzler or “Radical Candor” by Kim Scott:
There was one manager in particular I had who was extremely difficult to work with — I think we’ve all had that. They didn’t communicate expectations and job tasks and occasionally took credit for my work behind my back. Many other employees struggled with them as well. However, being raised in a household where communication, and sometimes overcommunication, is important, I turned to family mentors and the book “Crucial Conversations” in particular to navigate conversations with common goals in mind and create safe spaces for open dialogue. In the end, honesty and hard work prevailed and I was noticed for my efforts. I eventually moved into that position and was able to lead the team how it should be led.
3. Time Management — “Designing Your Life: How to Build a Well-lived, Joyful Life” by Bill Burnett & Dave Evans:
I read this book just after starting at Relic and I wish I’d read it in my undergraduate degree! People at work know I’m efficient with my time and my productivity levels are high. This is because I try to manage my time down to one-hour or 30-minute blocks. I know it takes me about two hours to write a blog post and also 60 minutes to cook a decent dinner for my family. However, this book also taught me to be self-aware of how my time is organized. For example, I know strategic planning projects like establishing new processes, compiling marketing strategies and recommendations all take a lot of brainpower and those projects are best done in my mornings. Meetings and lighter projects are best done in the afternoon when my brain begins to tire. My prime working hours are 8–3 so I know when I am most productive. After reading this book — if you can believe it from my previous productivity level — I think my life has become more organized and productive while also being less stressful and more enjoyable.
Wonderful. Let’s now jump into the main part of our interview. If you had a local business, what 3 media strategies would you use to grow your customer base and why?
One of the popular theories in PR is the PESO model — this communicates the value of balancing various types of media platforms that are Paid, Earned, Shared and Owned to your advantage. Within this model, I would use social media, content marketing and public relations.
First, content marketing is another big strategy because businesses are no longer only selling products and services, they are selling leadership, ideas and values. People want to know what you value before they buy. Customers want to buy into an idea when they purchase — something they can become loyal to. Customers also buy people. People connect to people, so it only makes sense that they personally feel a connection when they buy into your company. Content marketing will communicate numerous facets of your company and the reason why this is top on my list is that content marketing is a core piece of the marketing puzzle that can be repurposed and cross-marketed across various channels. Content is a piece that helps gain media coverage.
Second, social media is almost becoming a necessity rather than a fun tool these days. If you don’t have an online presence beyond your website, then it is getting harder for people to invest and trust your business because there’s no engagement, third-party endorsement or interaction. The social platforms you use will depend on the industry, audience and bandwidth of your team, but having some extent of active social media presence is important to grow your customer base.
Lastly, even small businesses need some aspect of public relations in order to grow a customer base that is nurtured and retained for the lifetime of the company. This could range from networking with trade publications to establishing collaboration opportunities and media coverage. Another option is preparing for a potential mistake, crisis or issue that puts your customer base in jeopardy. Either way, each small business should determine what goals they are trying to reach and what aspect of public relations will best achieve that goal.
How about a national brand? What 3 media strategies are typically most effective in generating more business for a national brand?
Honestly, this is a tricky question. Working for Relic, I work with many brands like Bryce Canyon National Park that could be considered a national brand, but the Destination Marketing Organization (DMO) that markets the area is a small organization. So, for this question, let’s specifically think of a medium- to large-sized business with a national brand.
As a medium to large-sized company, it can cautiously be assumed the organization has the basics covered like a basic content marketing plan, social media, and some relationships within its industry. A national brand means that national media coverage (and even international) is the goal.
Public relations is vital to ensure brand awareness and community value through the stories pitched and shared. Bigger brands potentially means more budget and therefore the ability to run national-level campaigns and events to successfully gain engagement and community interaction. Lastly, with podcasts on the rise since 2020, I would highly recommend if a national brand doesn’t have one already to be utilizing this platform to share news, ideas and influence customers and audiences.
One more before we go: If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be?
I’ve always struggled with perfectionism and fear of failure. One of the things that have helped me move past this is expanding my artistic talents. I picked up hand lettering and calligraphy in 2016 and applied them to note-taking and visual journaling.
If I could help anyone, I want to help them understand that making mistakes quickly will mean a faster learning period and a quicker path to success.
Thank you for sharing so many insights with us!
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