Any type of business you can think of needs to be goal-oriented in nature. Very few businesses can succeed without setting clear goals, both short-term goals and long-term goals that may not be achieved for many years.
In this way, public relations is no different. But if you don't work in PR yourself, then you may not know what PR goals tend to be.
This article will give you several key public relations goals examples that represent very common aims that clients and their PR teams share.
These goals can vary pretty wildly from client to client, and many more specific goals will depend heavily on the size of the company and the extent to which they require attention from the general public.
After you've read about these common goals, try looking at recent advertisements you've seen for major brands and ask yourself which of these goals they probably had in mind when they released each particular ad.
One very common goal of public relations efforts, and one goal that we've certainly talked about before, is making a name for the client.
In other words, this is public relations for a client who doesn't already have a large audience and who is looking to increase the size of that audience with the help of a PR campaign.
Here are just a few examples of different types of clients that would benefit from this type of publicity:
- A small tech startup that's less than a year old.
- A musical artist who has just launched a solo career.
- An academic who wants to establish their professional credibility.
- A nonprofit organization that seeks to raise awareness of an issue and raise funds.
- A new political candidate who wants to build a grassroots support base.
With the help of one or multiple PR campaigns, many clients can expand their audiences and advance their professional careers.
It's up to PR professionals to figure out how best to promote each individual client.
Introducing something new can be another extremely common PR goal, and it's one that can be useful for just about any client you can imagine.
Even the idea of introducing something new has many different iterations. This phrase could mean that a company is launching a new product or it could mean that a large company wants to change its name and even its mission statement.
Here's a very quick example that we've probably all seen in action before:
Every time that Apple releases a new iPhone, you can bet that there will be a series of artful video and print ads letting everyone know there's something new for them to pine after.
These ads will stop after a certain time, but for the brief time that they're released, they're all part of a specific PR campaign, not ongoing advertising efforts.
Returning to one of our previous examples, a political candidate may need to announce a brand new bid for a different government role that they've never held before. This would certainly be grounds for a PR campaign.
The candidate won't necessarily be introducing themselves to their audience, but they will be introducing a new concept to that audience.
Damage control is an important part of PR in general, no matter who the client is, mainly because, regardless of the client in question, every client has their own target audience.
That target audience needs to maintain a positive outlook on the client and their products. When that outlook turns negative, the PR for that client has failed and the client may suffer serious financial losses.
On the PR side, this can also mean that the client may choose to jump ship and look for new PR representation that can achieve their desired goals.
A product recall is a great example of this idea in action. Just because a product fails doesn't mean that the PR team for that client is at fault. PR pros have no control over the products a company creates.
However, the PR team in this situation needs to already have a plan in place for what to do under these circumstances. The team can't sit back and hope that the target audience will forgive the company.
PR strategies always need to account for possible problems that may arise during the course of a PR campaign or just during normal business operations.
Trying to come up with a plan for damage control on the spot, in the middle of a crisis, almost never works.
But if a PR team has planned for similar situations in advance, then all they need to do is share that planning with the company and take visible steps to address the problem, specifically within view of the client's target audience.
In the case of a product recall, certain company leaders may need to appear on news shows or even conduct a televised press conference where they can make an official statement addressing the problem and answer questions from members of the media.
Methods like these may not win back all of the company's previous supporters, but they will certainly win back some, and that's often the best a PR team can hope for in the wake of a serious mistake.
Even very large businesses need to be on the lookout for additional funding from outside sources. In fact, the larger the company, the more significant the financial requirements to keep that company up and running.
Yes, successful companies typically already have multiple revenue streams, and depending on the industry, those streams may remain steady for decades at a time.
But when a company wants to find some additional funding, they can use PR to do just that.
A PR campaign aimed specifically at investors can garner hype for an upcoming company IPO or renew interest in a company stock that's already on offer.
These campaigns need to highlight how well the company is doing already and how well they expect to perform in the near future.