Before discussing how MWHPR engages in the consultation process, an overview of public relations is provided below.
Q. What is PR?
A. According to principal, Margo Williams, PR is “ Everything you do and everything you say. ” Imagine a microscope observing various aspects of your business to identify improvement opportunities.
Others describe PR as a form of communications that uses publicity and promotional strategies to influence public perception and image via advertising and media/news coverage and/or the management of public opinion and attitudes to promote a business establishment.
Who you are, what you do, how you do it, and why anyone should care? These are the questions we seek to answer. Many times, our clients are “too close” to their businesses and brands. Separating themselves from the internal perspective and pressure to ensure their messaging and positioning is balanced is challenging. We help our clients to not get muddled in the minutia that their customers don’t care about or aren’t motivated by. We differentiate our clients from the crowd!
Q. What tasks are involved in the PR process?
A. The following list provides examples of various consultant tasks:
• Developing marketing and PR plans and strategies
• Establishing media relations on behalf of clients
• Developing, writing, distributing news releases and seeking coverage
• Writing and editing feature articles
• Assisting with management of marketing and PR projects
• Writing and designing corporate communications
• Planning and directing focus groups
• Coordinating and planning special events
• Writing speeches and video scripts
• Coordinating speaking engagements
• Organizing a comprehensive team of marketing professionals to address issues
• Developing and implementing campaigns
MWHPR Consultation Approach
How does MWHPR engage clients in the consultation stage, and what can clients expect in terms of their roles?
Before MWHPR consults with our client; we ask general questions concerning the client’s business. This discussion will help the consultant understand client needs.
We ask questions to help understand:
• What makes your organization different from other service/product providers
• How to distinguish your services from your competitors
• Your target audience
• Messages to communicate to your target audience
• What media will go the farthest in meeting your goals and objectives
After the above Q&A stage is complete, we develop a proposal outlining a customized communications strategy.
Once our client reviews and approves the proposal, we draw up an agreement outlining the terms. The contract is executed by signatures of both parties and we receive the initial fee. Fee arrangements may be hourly, per project or a combination thereof.
To gain a complete picture of the organization, our clients submit all pertinent information and relay pros and cons of the business. This process allows us to complete a rough draft of the action plan and a work product timeline. From this point, we have various meetings with our client to discuss logistics and determine if any necessary revisions or schedule changes are needed to complete the project.
The process just described requires the client and MWHPR to conduct research and gather pertinent information. The following list is the basic steps of the consultation approach.
• Gathering and assembling appropriate information about the business
• Determining a plan of action to meet client and target audience needs
• Be forthcoming about the pros and cons about the business. (This is invaluable to form a plan of action
• Willing to adjust approach based on consultant recommendations
• Overseeing budget
• Being realistic in revising budget plans
• Evaluating alternate approaches
• Conducting a risk analysis
• Remaining open about consultation view
• Developing a project plan/timeline
• Staying abreast of important milestones and deadlines
The MWHPR consultation approach requires active participation from both parties.
Unlike advertising, which basically relies on purchasing power to spread the message, the PR process relies solely on the quality of content to persuade the target audience.