As described in the Practice of Public Relations, the objective of a public relations campaign depends on the objectives of the organizations objectives. Any public relations campaign should be to influence the opinions of the publics one way or another, depending on the wants of the company. The process of identifying and meeting the objectives consists of 4 steps, defining the problem or opportunity, programming, putting the program into action, and evaluating the action. (Seitel, pg. 76, 2004)
Identify the organization’s publics The first step in putting a Public Relations Campaign into action is to define the opportunity for McBride Financial Services. This step requires research and analysis as to the current attitudes and opinions of consumers or publics in regards to McBride Financial Services as well as the current financial programs. Programming is the step that defines the planning process of how to influence the attitudes and opinions of the publics in favor of McBride Financial Services.
The process includes identifying such items as the type of action to be taken, the target markets, and the location of the target markets. Action is the stage at which the programming plan is put into action and all communication about the problem or opportunity is made. Lastly, the evaluation stage takes place after the action stage and evaluates the results of the public’s opinions and attitudes after the action is taken. The stage should also include an analysis as to the changes made to the opinions compared to that of the original opinions.
Identify the organization’s publics Different publics react differently to the same news. The impact is in the eye of the beholder. How individuals in different regions, situations, and demographic segments react to a particular piece of news, and whether or not those reactions will be great enough to be considered significant, is a concern that needs to be factored into planning. The public not only has many faces with many pairs of eyes and ears, but it resides in many different places and responds to different signals. It comes down to awareness and influence.
While it is important that the message is reached by the target market, it is also important that many different publics be served, or the program will not move forward successfully. Risks in the Strategy Just as any other business venture or strategy, there are always risks when implementing a new strategy or program. When the strategy or program is directly impacting the customers, potential customers, or publics, the risk is inherently higher. Mitigating that risk should be a large focus within the programming stage of a PR campaign.
This will help ensure that the public relations campaign meets the objectives of the McBride Financial Services. In order to mitigate the risks, McBride Financial Services has included additional resources in the budget for crisis campaigns. This will ensure that in the instance that a marketing plan is not successful, that there are additional resources for crisis control. In addition, the financial services team has identified the target markets wants, needs, norms, and cultural behaviors in order to understand the impact of strategy.
This should help to understand any underlining risk when integrating the services into the market. The Media Release and Distribution List One of the best ways to accomplish good press coverage is to provide the story to the press, which is done through the form of a media release. A media release could include such mediums as newspapers, television, radio, or internet, and include a press release, video release, public service announcement, or internet posting. According to “Secrets of a Media Release” a media release should both “offer information…
that can immediately be put to good use! ” and should “seamlessly weave key information… such as the five “w’s” of journalism (who, what, when, why, and how)” (D’Vari, 2006). McBride Financial Services has constructed the following press release: McBride Financial Services to Offer Services Across the Border: In a bold move, McBride Financial Services has announced that they will partner with CanEquity Mortgage to create a seamless, and borderless, mortgage partnership.
Beginning in the third quarter 2008, all of McBride’s financial services will be available in Canada. McBride is a one-stop mortgage broker who is customer driven and service oriented. Because of their Customer Service first approach they are one of the few U. S. Brokers how have not been affected by the sub-prime mortgage crisis sweeping across the United States. In addition, they are the only U. S. Brokerage firm to become licensed within Canada in the last three years. As important as writing a good press release, is establishing a competitive media distribution list.
This is the list of media outlets that will run the press release. It is important to focus on outlets which will provide the best PR for the organization as well as most likely set up your organization for future sales. According to “How to Write a Media Release” an organization should: “Send (the) press release to the appropriate channels” which could include “1) Newspaper tourism sections, 2) Radio stations, 3) Niche magazines, and 4) Recommended Forums, Bulletin Boards and Tourism Portals” (Mader, 2008).