Written by Smoak PR

How Can PR Help Your Brand?

Understanding the difference between Public Relations and Marketing can be very helpful when it comes to strategizing effective ways to build brand awareness, increase revenue, drive web traffic or simply create a buzz. As PR professionals, we also appreciate how both marketing initiatives and traditional public relations efforts can work in tandem with one another to drive results. The “marketing umbrella” contains powerful promotional tools, one of which is PR. At times, PR is difficult to define because it can be a challenge to associate a specific “return on investment”, whereas with a paid advertising campaign, dollars spent can be tracked back to direct sales or return. That said there is absolutely no denying that effective and strategic public relations initiatives can launch a brand to great success or continue building momentum. Here are three free things that fall within the world of PR that you can start executing today to enhance your brand, and aid you achieving your goals and objectives. 

Media Relations – Building relationships with local, regional, and national media personnel or ‘on-air talent’ can sometimes be a daunting task. That said, looking up the ‘contact us’ page on the local news outlet’s website to introduce yourself and your business to the folks most likely to cover your industry is the perfect place to start. Simply saying hello, providing feedback on a relatable article they have published, or weaving your way into a recent story they covered are all effective ways to begin building long-term, and hopefully beneficial relationships with those in your market ultimately responsible for spreading news and sharing your story.

Social Media Engagement and Influencer Relations –PR today is less about writing and sending press releases, and more about valuable engagement, especially on social media! Commenting, sharing, liking, and loving social media content on a personal level is a surefire way to contribute to the conversation in a very valuable way. By being persistent and consistent with your engagement on social media platforms, you are more likely to grow your organic reach and build brand awareness in an impactful way. Engaging with local social influencers via direct messages, comments or shares may seem like a time consuming task that will fall on deaf ears…or blind eyes; however, rest assured that patience is a virtue and valuable interaction digitally can – and will pay off! 

Content Creation – Building content that you own is critical! Imagine a world where Instagram or Facebook no longer exists and the digital audience you have built is no longer present to engage with, or see your brand daily. Generating content that is your own to share among your audience will help you continue to build your brand – even if the outlets for distributing that content change or evolve over time. Specifically speaking, you should focus on your website, building a strong email database and most importantly – cultivating your relationships! We encourage clients to spend their valuable time writing informational white pages, building a mobile and user friendly website, and to always go the extra mile when publishing content that is theirs – ultimately positioning them as the expert within a given landscape. 

There is no denying that PR can incorporate a lot of different things these days; however, focusing on effective media relations, spending time on personal engagement, and building valuable content will never go out of style!  

Written by Smoak PR

Meet Our Spring Interns!

Smoak PR is thrilled to welcome three new Spring interns: Irene, Lizzie, and Lindsey. As college students interested in improving their communications skills, Smoak PR will prepare them with knowledge and experience in the public relations industry. To kick off the semester, each intern introduces herself and her goals for this time with Smoak PR:

My name is Irene Biganzoli and I am a junior at the University of South Carolina Upstate, majoring in Communications Mass Media, with double minor in Business & Entrepreneurship and French. I chose to follow this career path because I am fascinated by how words and effective messages can change how one’s story or passion is perceived. Communication is an everchanging field which amazes me, bringing to light modern platforms and utilizing them in the most efficient way. This fresh and dynamic side of communication is what brought me to choose it as a career. While studying and researching mass media and marketing tactics in the classroom, I hope that this amazing opportunity at Smoak PR will show me how these tactics are applied in the real world, teaching me new ones and reinforcing the lessons learned. I hope to become a better communicator, online and with Smoak PR clients and team, gaining hands on experience in areas like media relations and strategic planning.  

My name is Lizzie Burnett. I am a senior at Clemson University studying Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management with a concentration in Travel and Tourism. As one might guess, I have a heart for travel and adventure, and I want each day to look different and allow creativity in the workplace. One of the major trends in what I have studied is the importance of local pride, events, and having a great sense of involvement in the community. This is largely what attracted me to an internship in Public Relations. I am hopeful that this opportunity to intern at Smoak PR will teach me valuable lessons in how to inform the public on ways to get involved and improve the connectivity of a community. 

My name is Lindsey Cottle. I am a junior Communication Studies and French double major at Furman University. My favorite aspect of PR is getting to work with people, learning about their creative visions and helping make those a reality while simultaneously meeting their brand’s more pragmatic needs. I have a passion for travel and for education – which, to me, are one in the same – so I’m constantly trying to see more of the world, meet new people, and interact with cultures and mindsets different from my own. At the root of all these interactions is communication, hence my major: in our hyperconnected world, people seem to feel more disconnected than ever. This phenomenon underscores the importance of effective and meaningful communication, both digitally and interpersonally. I hope to refine the communication skills I’ve developed during my time at Furman through this internship with Smoak PR to better connect with others, and to serve my community by engaging with the public at a local, regional, and global level! 

Although we are beginning our internships virtually, we aim to emphasize collaboration and connection in order to make the most of this opportunity at Smoak PR. Each of us has a similar educational background, and yet brings her own unique set of skills to the table. We can’t wait to discover what this semester has in store for us!