As PR professionals we attend numerous meetings each month. Probably too many for our liking. They can range from plotting a campaign to discussing tactics with your team, a client or colleagues.
You can establish yourself as a PR leader at these gatherings by posing three simple questions and in the process save at lot of time and trouble:
- What are the media and social media implications of our issue?
- Where are the stories?
- Who’s got the images?
At any meeting touching on PR ask those attending two simple questions. ‘How will the media react to our issue’ and ‘can the media tie this topic to something else?’
These inquiries get people thinking about the media implications of the topic on the table, and how to best present it to journalists and through social media channels. They also cause a pause and an opportunity to pinpoint possible pitfalls that could end up badly in the news or on social media.
You can never have enough stories in any PR effort – so ask ‘where are the stories’ whenever you get the chance.
PRs need stories like a racing car driver needs wheels. That’s because real stories about real people elevate our messages beyond mere statements and bring passion into the conversation with our audiences. ‘What stories can make our case’ turns a discussion from the abstract into a process of finding the humanity in our issue.
Images are equally powerful because they shortcut how people respond to an issue. In a message-saturated world imagery can provide that ‘wake up moment’ when the audience finally gets it. Like stories you never have enough images especially in long campaigns and because of the monstrous rate at which social media devours stills and video.
When a meeting arrives at an important PR decision, lead the group by asking them to identify the imagery and graphics that can dramatize the case. And if imagery is not available make it a team priority to create it at the earliest.
Set the agenda
Irrespective of the topic or the status of those attending, a PR person will make a valuable contribution to any meeting by asking others to consider media, stories and imagery.