Historically, few manufacturers have invested time and resources into a Public Relations Strategy. However, today, your role in your community and your brand story matters to the public.
As manufacturers modernize their brands, and start thinking strategically about messaging, the practice of nurturing public relations through content strategy will become impactful.
Strategic Content For Modern Manufacturers
Modern definitions of public relations blur the line between content strategy and traditional PR. To create a successful content strategy, you need to understand the wide net that public relations encompasses within your content strategy.
Traditionally, PR was considered sending a press release to a newswire service and hoping it got picked up. Today, PR is a robust plan for strategically introducing content to your target audiences.
To get started, you need to understand what information you should share to build your brand reputation.
Public Relations is All About Strategic Communication
The Public Relations Society of America defines public relations as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
For manufacturers, we consider the “publics” mentioned above as three key audience segments:
Historically, the community side of this fell under traditional PR: the Public – which includes any person. But as with any content strategy, focused content is more effective. In manufacturing there are three core audiences: your customers or potential customers, candidates and current employees, and your community. They are in essence, your public.
Public relations helps to influence, engage and build a relationship with these audiences across a variety of platforms. When approached strategically, a strong public relations strategy will help shape and frame the public’s perception of your company.
Functions of a Strong Content Strategy
Public relations is likely one of the smallest considerations of a content strategy for modern manufacturers. However, when supported by a deep understanding of your audiences, and a robust content strategy, all of your content throughout all of your communication channels will work together to influence the public’s understanding of, and relationship with your brand.
Examples of strategic content pieces include:
- Corporate Communications
- Crisis Communications
- Executive Communications
- Internal Communications
- Investor Relations Communications
- Marketing Communications
- Integrated Marketing/Integrated Marketing Communications
- Media Relations
- Content Creation
- Social Media
- Reputation Management
- Brand Journalism
Target Content by Audience
Customer Focused Content
Customer Focused Content can include:
- Product Spotlights: highlight new products or products to promote.
- Project Profile: showcase how you solved a problem for a customer
- Industry Article: establish industry expertise for key market trends
- Company News: highlight promotions/new hires in customer facing roles
Internally, these are important to share so everyone on the team can develop a deep understanding of your products, and how you solve your customers problems.
Over time, your team will grow to have the same perspective, understanding and detail on your products and will be able to champion your company with the right language and consistency.
Customer focused content can likely be shared: Internally, on social media, your website and in trade publications.
Community News Stories
Community News Stories can include:
- Donations: donations to community organizations and nonprofits, can include things like blood donation or canned food donations
- Sponsorships: sponsorships of local scout troops, basketball teams, etc
- Run-Walks/Fundraising: fundraising events for charities
- Scholarships: any scholarships for local trade schools, community education, etc
Most manufacturers have some sort of give-back initiatives already established, but are too humble to share them publicly, or even with their team. However, it is vital that they do so. Internally, sharing community stories is imperative to building a desirable company culture. It gives your employees a bigger reason to show up to work everyday, and a cause to rally behind. Shared externally, it will give prospective customers another reason to purchase, and potential employees a great reason to apply.
Community News Stories can likely be shared: Internally, social media, your website, and community newspapers
Employee Related Content
Employee Related Content can include:
- New Hires: Sharing key management hires (after probationary period) or customer facing positions
- Promotions: Sharing promotions within company
- Retirements: Honoring retirees with a story about their contributions
Creating and sharing employee related content is a great opportunity to celebrate and honor the employees that work hard to make your business a success. Honoring your employees, even in this small way, will demonstrate your commitment to their success, and that they are cared for and valued as individuals.
Employee Related Content can be shared: Internally on company intranet or physically on your shop floor/lunchroom, on social media, your website and if key leadership in a press release.
How to Start Your Public Relations Strategy
As always, Public Relations needs to be a part of your brand strategy, and support your overall growth goals. If your team is struggling on how to write, develop and share powerful content, reach out to Strategy House today.