Hiring a public relations firms can lead to a number of successes for your business, such as public awareness, reputation enhancement and relationship building with target audiences. While a PR team executes most of the work behind the scenes, there is an army of people within an organization who also need to be involved with PR-related activities in a different way, as they are the ones who are the public “face” of any company. That’s where PR training comes in. A PR team often leads sessions with company representatives to train them on several external activities as it relates to communications. These sessions are what help the organization and PR team work cohesively and harmoniously.
Training before media interviews is vital, even if the interviewee is media-savvy with a lot of hands-on experience. This session involves going over talking points to ensure the client stays on topic and eliminates room for ambiguity or speculation. It’s common to rehearse with potential questions and answers. There are other components beyond answering questions that clients must work on, such as inflection and tone, body language and posture, and proper attire. Media interviews can be stressful, but a thorough media training session will calm nerves, minimize surprise questions and result in a successful interview — both for you and the reporter
Messaging training sessions often take place in the early stages of a relationship between a PR team and a client. Sometimes, companies operate with messaging that misses the mark, so an overhaul is in order. Perhaps the right messaging is already in place, but it just needs better ways of being distributed. The PR team also ensure that messaging remains consistent company-wide. Beyond media interviews, it’s important for an organization to stick to a consistent message in all forms of communication, including website content, emails or even casual conversation.
No matter how diligently we work to prevent them (the avoidable ones), crises are inevitable. Luckily, if an organization has strong PR support, a crisis won’t necessarily become disastrous for a company’s reputation. PR consultants often provide action plans and statements for various scenarios, so when a crisis occurs, the organization is ready to react and respond in a timely manner. If an unexpected crisis surfaces, it’s important for a PR team to immediately begin a training session with key organizational leaders to determine how to approach the crisis head on. This may include assigning who will speak media and key stakeholders, developing consistent messaging and determining what channels to use when delivering each message.
Consistency is key with branding. Branding affects every member of an organization, from letterhead to swag items to any marketing or advertisement. A branding session will teach best practices to ensure the organization’s brand is represented consistently. It’s common for a PR team to partner with a trusted brand agency to develop and share design guidelines so everyone properly uses the organization’s logo, type font and colors.
Most organizations have several individuals managing their public social media accounts, and those folks might not be on their PR team. It’s important for social media administrators to get together and develop guidelines for managing each page. In addition to brand consistency, this session will determine the purpose and overall strategy for each platform. Once those are decided, the team must agree on a voice, message and tone that are consistent. Lastly, roles must be assigned among the team. For instance, is one person monitoring reviews and private messages, while another is writing content or posting videos? This session will get everyone on the same page, and the organization’s social media presence will thrive.
Thorough training sessions will ensure every external aspect of your company is consistent, thoughtful and organized.