There is a strong link between public relations and political communication. The two industries have an abundance of common ground as they both aim to create original content that establishes an identity around the entity they represent. In both sectors, public relations techniques are implementing by employing nuanced strategies to help their clients reach their specific goal, whether it be increasing their sales by 10% or winning a national election.
As someone who has worked in the private sector and in the office of an elected official, I have seen the skills I’ve built in one sector support the other, and I have grown and gained a better understanding of my work in both industries. Here are the ways I’ve seen traditional public relations techniques intersect with the political arena and allow clients and elected officials to develop a nuanced story and identity:
Incorporate Branding Techniques
Successful brand building includes establishing a voice that is specific and easily identifiable to an intended audience. Such a voice can help whether you’re a politician, company, or organization looking to raise its profile within an industry while creating a unique identity that allows you to accomplish the goals you set for yourself. Whether it’s a press release, an infographic, or a tweet, all material should have the same voice, look as though it was written by the same person and follow a similar aesthetic. Designing templates aligned with a broader public relations strategy can be extremely helpful in supporting brand development as well as communicating openly with your audience, regardless of the type of client you represent.
Build Your Tool Box
With the rise of technology, information can be shared across multiple platforms in a matter of seconds. Utilizing free resources and educational platforms can help you understand how to make the most of the tools you have and ensure that your content stands out in a crowded newsfeed. You no longer have to be a computer programmer to design a website or a graphic designer to create an infographic. The abundance of tools within reach for presenting content in interesting and meaningful ways has drastically increased in recent years, and it’s important to use them to your advantage.
Social media has added a new layer to the world of public relations and political communication, and with it, new ways to monitor the success of your content in real time. Now more than ever, professional communicators can determine the types of content that resonate with an audience and pivot marketing goals to fit the newest social messaging tools. Being flexible is an essential skill to ensure that your office is using the most appropriate platforms to reach its target audience and meet the goals of your company or client.
Educate and Inform
Tailoring your message to appeal to a broad demographic across different platforms can be a challenge. By doing so, however, public relations professionals in both the private and public sectors can educate their audience and provide them with the opportunity to engage with content in new ways. As a professional communicator, it is your job to highlight the unique aspects of your client and utilize a variety of platforms to advocate for certain issues your clients believe in. Whether it’s through traditional media placement or targeting specific areas of interest, your innovative and engaging work can expand the understanding the general public has on the product or elected official you represent.