Hi there, I’m Katie Cupp, Good Cause Marketing’s expert on all things public relations. After a decade of both in-house and agency PR, marketing, and advertising experience, I struck out on my own and began freelancing for all different types of clients. A couple of years later, I met Kendra, Good Cause Marketing’s Founder & CEO, and learned about GCM and what it stands for. She and I soon discovered that our work ethic and business acumen were very much in sync, so we knew we simply had to work together! Many people don’t know what PR is or why their business needs (yes, NEEDS) a strategic public relations plan to thrive. So I figured I could give you all a little “PR 101” and then expand on how your cause marketing efforts can actually build your public relations presence.
What Is PR?
According to the Public Relations Society of America, “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” So let’s break down that definition and make sense of it. That “strategic communication process” usually involves a lot of writing. I mean, A LOT. As the in-house PR Manager at Good Cause Marketing, I wear many, many hats, but I usually start with writing and distributing press releases. A press release is basically a news article used to describe the “who, what, where, when, and why” of our clients’ cause marketing efforts and other important company updates. A public relations manager must be an excellent storyteller, capable of creating a narrative that people care about. My goal is always to write a compelling, newsworthy press release that convinces the media outlets to publish it. Publication is mutually beneficial for the media: they get a well-written story that they can use with little to no effort on their part, while our clients’ good work gets coverage on several news outlets.
When PR Works
However, nothing can ever be that simple or easy, right? After years of building relationships with various editors and assignment managers, I still sometimes have to call them after I send them a press release to persuade them to cover it in their newspaper, magazine, blog, radio segment, TV show, etc. This is no easy task! I am put on the spot and have to prove to each decision maker that my client’s story is important and newsworthy and simply MUST be covered! Luckily for Good Cause Marketing’s clients, I am passionate about my job and love going to bat to share how these incredible organizations are working to improve our community. More often than not, I am successful in my quest for media coverage, and especially when it comes to events, TV stations and reporters want to come out to cover them in person. I always have so much fun coordinating the media and guiding our clients through interviews at these events. This is the part of the PR process when I get to see everything unfold as I intended it to, and I especially enjoy seeing our clients and their passion for their work and social causes shine in the spotlight. Now, there are many other types of public relations strategies, like media coaching, speech writing, and reputation management (just to name a few), and I intend to talk about all of those and more in future blogs, so please STAY TUNED! Be sure to check back next month when I break down the surprising ways your business’s cause marketing can HELP your public relations.