There Are Some Basic Public Relations Tasks That Almost Anyone At Your Quarry Can Accomplish.
By Thomas J. Roach
Not every operation can afford a public relations practitioner to manage media relations, but there are some basic public relations tasks that almost anyone can accomplish. One of the easiest and most effective is to put out press releases on promotions and new hires.
Announcements about personnel moves are particularly easy to generate because almost all of the information needed for the story is in the subject’s resume. Yet, simple as it is, the personnel announcement has maximum value for the organization because it builds a positive reputation by informing employees and the community about the quality of the staff and by inference, the quality of the organization, its products, and its services.
News stories start with a “who, what, when, where and why” sentence. This information is usually pretty obvious. Tom Terrific was named assistant, associate, junior vice-president of Your Quarry in Stone City, insert month, to fill a job created by the expansion or creation or vacuum or decision of some event or person or committee.
The next sentence can look like the first only it is based on the information at the top of the resume. He is leaving a position as over-under assistant at Really Big Quarry in Rock City where he was in charge of managing whatever it says on the resume from sometime until now. If the press release stops here, the mission is accomplished. It will run as a brief in the local newspaper, and the community will know something about the quality of the staff at the organization.
Adding more information from the resume turns the brief into a news story, which will get a headline and result in better placement and more readers knowing more about the new hire and the company.
One option for extending the story is adding a third paragraph like the second paragraph only based on the next item down on the resume. Previously, he was employed as under-assistant something at Smaller Quarry in Granite City.
Other paragraphs might say where he went to school and what degree was earned, and list memberships in organizations, interests and hobbies, if the information is available on the resume.
The story can be further enhanced by a quote. Most job candidates are well prepared to answer questions about what they like about your company or community and can provide quotable material with little prompting. A good quote might be inserted as a second paragraph. Weaker quotes can be placed toward the end of the story.
Newspapers like short simple sentences arranged into short simple paragraphs. They do not require transitions. While news stories group clumps of related ideas together, they are usually arranged from the most important information to the least important information.
If this seems daunting perhaps a student intern from a public relations or journalism program at a nearby school can be hired to prepare the story. The going rate for semi-professional writers is between $25 and $50 a story.
Newspapers regularly run these announcements, so they are almost guaranteed to result in free publicity. More can be gained than just the story in the paper, however. When a newspaper prints a story it is also posted on the newspaper’s online edition. Once the story shows up online, a link to the story can be posted on the company website, Facebook page, Twitter and LinkedIn accounts, and sent out in emails.
Linking to the newspaper version of the press release is usually more valuable than actually posting the press release because the newspaper is an objective outside source and therefore lends credibility to the information it publishes. One exception is the employee newspaper where it would be worthwhile to print the entire press release and perhaps even expand on it.