Public Relations

Build Your Public Relations Program on Solid Ground


Many people associate public relations with glitzy occasions that they expect reporters to be awed by and write about. They also consequently will make their businesses famous and prosperous.

Sorry, I’m sorry, but it’s not working this way.

Effective public relations isn’t the result of a few spectacular occasions. It’s the opposite. A variety of integrated elements fuel the engine that drives any successful public relations campaign forward.

The necessity of driving this point home was a reality for me once more as I launched an organization for public relations at an unassuming New York City community college. Before that, the college could not establish a cohesive public relations program in any form.

I created a twelve-month program to aid the college’s mission to boost student enrollment, increase the school’s status as a vital community resource, and boost the local business leaders’ dependence on the college for a wealth of educated workers. The program was comprised of a variety of small and large components, such as:

  • The college president and other principal administrators, and faculty members from the scholastic department as highly responsive, knowledgeable sources of information and experts that could be a resource for all New York City news media can call upon and trust;
  • Making contacts with media to get consistent and favorable media coverage, including radio, television, and Internet coverage that highlights the school’s strengths and achievements, its programs studies, student’s accomplishments, and other newsworthy school events;
  • The school is expanding, updating, and upgrading the website of the school, making it a vital information and news source;
  • In collaboration with community groups including libraries, civic and other community centers to help residents learn various “life techniques” via free seminars and seminars as well as ongoing education courses;
  • I am participating in meetings with local businesses and professional associations to keep abreast of the needs of business communities for highly educated and skilled employees.

In a matter of minutes, the new program for public relations put the college on the local media’s radar. It also began creating neighborhood trust and an identity that was positive for the institution. The program also helped build the college’s reputation with local businesses as a place to find talented, educated, and skilled employees.

Then, in a spur of the moment, I had the opportunity to meet with a department manager who had nothing to do with the program’s initial creation or the determination of its goals. He asked me, “When will you create something massive?”

So I asked, “What did you have in your head?”

“Let’s have a celebration to the neighborhood on the median that runs that runs in front of the college.” (The 20-foot-wide median spanned five blocks in the city.)

“Why would you do this?”

“For to promote. Everyone would come into a party and be having a great time. Television and newspapers would report on the event.”

“Why do they need to cover the block party? And what can they expect to talk about other than”the school’s party was huge?”

“Well you ought to take on something massive.”

We’ve never held any block parties, and this person was never content with the solid, slowly growing, and effective public relations program I created. As time passed, the program continued to grow the school’s reputation as a place of higher education and an essential source for the local population and businesses. As planned, it was able to increase the school’s enrollment.

For some, it’s all about glitz and glamour but not much substance. A significant event can kick off or boost a well-integrated publicity campaign. However, by itself, the impact on public relations of a single event is as lasting and as significant as the smoke of a cigarette.

Remember, lasting, effective, and long-lasting PR is a continual and structured procedure, not just a single extravagant occasion.

Brian R. Salisbury, a writer and a consultant in public relations and communications, combines his vast knowledge of contacts with an appealing writing style that helps his clients create the most powerful messages and make them have the most impact in areas in areas that matter the most. Visit Brian’s website at [] and subscribe to his free public relations newsletter and receive his free report, “Ten Key Components of a Successful Public Relations Program.

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