Yinka Olaito is happy,excited and passionate Communication specialist, Social Media expert, Trainer and speaker. Yinka Olaito helps brands(Profits and Non-profits)with effective communication and positioning for premium service delivery and returns. Yinka Olaito also has special interest in Development Communication and has consulted for noted UN Agencies. Yinka Olaito is the CCO of Michael Sage Consulting(Communication/digital media), African Child Education Right Initiatives(NGO) and Content Director, Africa Development Talk( online Platform for discussion on Policy, Governance, development across Africa)
Sometimes I am amazed when corporate brand owners complaint of not having expected ROI on their public relations activities. Because this has become a common occurrence in the industry, I decided to do a write up on it today.
In most cases when I hear of such disappointment what I usually asked is what their corporate meaning of public relations is? Especially when it comes to small or medium scale industry. The answer I am given is that public relations is ‘putting small money inside an envelop, it is going to shake hands with the right people, it is calling people up and asking after their families, sending some present/gifts to someone”. These aforementioned activities are great and good but that is not what public relation is.
Public relations is a planned, sustained activities/efforts to develop, promote a mutual agreement between an organization and its target audience. To get the best out of brand’s public relations efforts, I will like to make the following suggestions;
1. Hire a passionate professional: there are many qualified professionals today who find themselves in various professions just because it is the new rave, or because its where the buck is. Since the motivation of these professionals is money, the tendency is that most of these professionals are using your organization as a stepping stone for something better. Words of caution here, when you get one, always treat him/her well because he is a valuable asset to the brand.
2. Listen to the professional: I am amazed that when some organizations hire a qualified professional, they do not listen to their advice. What is the sense in hiring a staff just to show off? If the organization can really survive without one, why adding more liabilities. Knowledge is not a function of age. That your Public relations manager is young is not a reason to disregard his/her advice. Give the professional necessary tools to function. The position should be one of the top management and decision making one. Position without necessary authority to act is like a lion without teeth.
3. Plan your activities: Failing to plan is planning to fail. Public Relations activities need to be planned. It should not follow a haphazard format. When the goal is first determined, plans, tactics should be in place. Date should be fixed for every action and if possible have an ongoing assessment of the activities. Constantly monitor your Public relations efforts so that at the end it will be obvious to all that objectives had been achieved.