PR is nothing more than putting out the word when something happens, right? Well, that may be the stereotype, but the proper use and implementation of strategic public relations is much more. Strategic PR begins early in the product planning stage, continues in product development, introduction, and evaluation, and helps mold the next generation.
Establishing Development Objectives
Before a product is ever announced and even before it hits the drawing board, strategic PR is establishing the parameters for its development objectives. Through the process of discovery much like market research, but with a stronger technological component, the practitioner measures the status of the industry, identifies niches both filled and void, and defines trends and interests in both marketing and technological arenas. It is also important to determine the needs and thoughts of potential customers and end-users. Trends are also discovered in interviews, by examining trade association programs, and even by reading annual reports.
Often, all these various elements are veiled and unclear, but the strategic PR process weighs all relevant information and discovers the jewels.
Benchmarking – Gathering Baseline Data
The next step is benchmarking – discovering exactly what has been done regarding the new development effort and identifying competitive and complimentary activities. Awareness of competitive efforts can lead a project to the dump heap or can fuel the flames and increase the budgets.
When complimentary efforts are discovered, it is often wise to investigate possible linkages that can further the objectives of all groups involved. Successful cooperative ventures can streamline the development process, uncover funding sources, and provide exposure and access. Less fortuitous collaborations can mire the project in unforeseen problems. One part of the discovery process is to […]