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7 Public Relations Tips That Will Help Your Company In 2017

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A fresh year is upon us with new opportunities and challenges in all areas of your life. One such vital area is public relations for your organization.

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New year always brings changes and while change is unstoppable, here are my top 7 public relations tips for this year to help you effectively manage the change."

1) Growth in Live Streaming

Nearly 80 per cent of Canadians have watched a Facebook Live video, which is the equivalent of more than 11 years' worth of Live video watched every day. Facebook product director Daniel Danker suggests that live streaming has been an "overwhelmingly" mobile experience. Danker expects this to continue to grow this year.

The advantage with live streaming is the instant and unedited nature of the content, which helps the viewer feel a more personal connection. All organizations and companies can utilize this feature to their benefit. Often, this type of content helps create the "behind the scenes" authenticity that many appreciate.

You could use live stream to tease a marketing campaign or live stream an event but consider how you can best use it to tell your story in 2017. By adding this to your PR toolkit, you can also help build trust with consumers.

2) Listen to Your Audience and Act

Vancouver area communicator Ryan Williams suggested recently that "with trust at an all-time low and noise at an all-time high, listen to your audience." Many throughout the industry, including myself, agree with the importance of listening to your audience, but also acting upon the advice and information that they give you.

Once you have heard this valuable information, don't wait but strategize and act appropriately. Your consumers and audience will tell you what they want so don't delay in responding.

3) Does your organization and its employees really know your story? If not, fix that.

Public relations is the art of telling stories to the right audience with the necessary tools. Oftentimes organizations leadership know and live the story but their employees aren't able to articulate it exactly. That's a problem. Most organizations and their employees don't know how to tell their own story.

4) If you're Canadian then find a way to connect your story with the 150th Canadian birthday.

2017 marks the 150th birthday of the nation of Canada so celebrations and events will be taking place across the country. Consider finding ways to connect your PR strategy with this momentous occasion. Either become sponsors of events or partner with a non-profit to promote an event that connects with your brand and values.

5) Maximize Thought Leadership Opportunities

Consider finding opportunities for leaders to speak to conferences and events where they can share their expertise in their field. No matter the organization, you have knowledge and experience that could be shared with audiences. By doing so, you create brand awareness and provide opportunities to connect with potential customers or partners.

6) Creative Press Releases

Traditional press releases and packages can no longer be expected to get the media's attention for your story. News organizations have striking newsrooms with fewer and fewer journalists so you've got to get their attention as creatively as possible. Send media pitches that tell them in a concise format why exactly they should care about your news. Subject lines in email pitches matter more than ever before. You've got to pitch to the right media outlets with your story.

7) Media Relationships Still Matter

Fostering meaningful relationships with journalists from as many news outlets in as many cities as possible is one of my top priorities as a PR professional. This time and effort will pay dividends when I want to articulate a client's story to them. Reporters want to tell good stories that the public wants to hear and as communicators, we want to tell our clients stories. Take the time this year to sit down with a handful of reporters that you don't know well.

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Let these tips help guide the direction of your strategy in the year come.

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