I cut my teeth in PR with the North Carolina Department of Commerce promoting their strategic tourism, film and sports industries. I enjoyed it then and still enjoy working with media. In my last year with Visit NC, we hosted over 100 international journalists many I personally toured across the state from Biltmore Estate to Cape Hatteras. I learned quickly that outputs were all about the inputs: Build the relationships, do the work and deliver the results.
The media landscape has changed since my days at NC Commerce, but what makes your PR effort successful hasn’t changed. It all starts with strategy, understanding your differentiated point of view and defining what success looks like for your project. Media still need help to tell your story, and they need your input and support… now more than ever.
A great tool of the communications trade is the Big Top strategy. I named this one after the father of PR – PT Barnum. Do you think he’d still believe that there is no such thing as bad press?
The Big Top communications strategy is when you take one big idea and you stretch it out with communications tentpoles. We did this when Fifth Group turned 25. The 25th Anniversary Messaging is the Big Top and our openings, CSR initiatives and community engagement activities are the tent poles that you use to hold up a larger strategy. Then, use your key events and stakeholders to creatively deliver your brand messages.
We leveraged Fifth Group’s 25th to punch above our weight for big wins like our founder partner being named one of Atlanta’s most admired CEOs by the Atlanta Business Chronicle and successfully drove a 362% YOY increase in a return on our PR investment.
Get creative with partnerships like IHG’s work with the PGA TOUR to pull your brand in the right direction, or like Fifth Group Restaurants you can engaged with the right influencers to expand the reach of your message or consider experiential elements to help with social sharing and message absorption.
Even MBIKES knew that media partnerships and product placement would be key for positioning and worth the free product doled our for their Modern Luxury photoshoot. There is no one sized fits all approach to getting the right coverage for your brand.
Want to hear more? Ask me about the time I was leading guest experience for the InterContinental brand and we worked with our global agency, internal PR teams and hotels operations team to relaunch and reposition The Barclay our flagship property in Manhattan. Or ask me what’s it like opening three successful restaurants with Fifth Group in just over two years with minimal external support.