As a public relations practitioner, you can use corporate publications for both external and internal audiences. Corporate publications give you the ability to accurately portray your company's position and messages, versus leaving it up to a third party. In this way, corporate publications are tools that augment other communications that make up your overall public relations strategy. Examples are trade publications, online announcements and internal newsletters.
Types of Publications
Use corporate publications for two audience types: internal, such as your employees; and external--customers or other influential people, such as the media. A company newsletter is an example of an internal publication. A self-published trade magazine is an example of a publication designed largely for external audiences, along with technical publications such as user manuals, white papers or position papers.
Seize the opportunity to be creative with your external corporate publications. Self-published magazines can carry articles on industry changes and pertinent legislation, and you can also profile your customers. Make each issue timely while increasing readership with the right article combination. For example, if you work in the food industry, you can include articles on updated food safety regulations, as well as reader-contributed recipes. Make topical brochures that you keep in your office seating area or waiting room that customers can take with them. These are easy for them to carry and easy for you to update.
Recognize that some of the best PR advocates for your company are its employees. Encouraging employee submissions in corporate publications gives employees ownership in the process. Profile employees in your corporate publication to provide an intimate feel to your corporate image and invite employee feedback. Make sure plenty of copies are available for them to take to outside meetings as "take-away" publications. The more copies that are in circulation, the greater your reach and readership.
If you work for a technology company, ask qualified employees to write white papers that you can post on your website. Encourage key executives to write position papers on important changes or legislation so your customers know where you stand on relevant issues. All of these publications can be posted on the Internet with key words that optimize search engine results.
Press releases are a common type of external communication, but are largely overused, according to Cathy Brandewie of O'Connell Robertson in Austin, Texas. Many Internet news sites carry news releases directly off the newswire, but reporters and journalists will soon become skeptical if you over-saturate with press releases. Also, if you send information via email, be sure you include a quick and easy "opt-out" feature for your subscribers. Even something as simple as that can make your company look both efficient and considerate.
- Cathy Brandewie, Corporate Director of Marketing and Business Development, O'Connell Robertson, Austin, TX
- Dara Quackenbush, Professor of Public Relations, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX
- Photo Credit magazine image by Angelika Bentin from Fotolia.com asian business people image by huaxiadragon from Fotolia.com doing research image by Leticia Wilson from Fotolia.com cameraman image by razorconcept from Fotolia.com
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