Tips for engaging the public and handling a crisis…

Have you ever wondered if people are paying attention to you? You can write about your business/organization all sorts of ways, but do people hear it? Are they listening… watching… reading?

This is something we talk about a lot as public relations/communication/marketing professionals in Public Relations Association of Central Illinois. None of us individually have all the answers, but collectively, watch out! We learn from one another and invite guests to teach us about their successes. We’ve covered a lot of ground so far this year, and would like to share some of the tips we’ve learned along the way. Here are a few “aha!” moments…

Engaging Campaigns
Engaging the public is important for public relations, and visual displays go a long way to get attention. You have to be guessing what we’re referring to here: Peoria’s impressive All America City campaign. From a collaborative video and drum line to the dynamic, attention-grabbing presentation in Colorado, the campaign made a splash that PR professionals would call heaven. So how do you do it? Here are our simplified tips:

Get Social!
Did you know 30 percent of adults get their news from Facebook? We’re not kidding. Pew Research journalists published that statistic, among others, last November. Next in line was YouTube at 10 percent and Twitter at eight percent. Remember, these are not the percentages of adults who use these vehicles; they are the percentages of adults who get their news and information from these sources. No business can ignore that. If you’re not using social media outlets for your business, you’re behind. Remember:

For the Love of Events
Public relations professionals (or people stuck wearing the PR hat) often end up being the lucky individuals who execute event planning, so we study best practices for that, too. Our favorite tips from this luncheon are below:

How to Handle Bad Press
It’s a tough but necessary topic. Here are some key things we learned that we want to share:

Meghan Lundeen is president of the Public Relations Association of Central Illinois.