How We Do It
At firstClass, Inc., we begin service to our clients by first performing due diligence. We get to know your brand; your product or service; and we assess your goals and objectives. In addition we investigate your competition. We try to determine the best course of action to market your brand and promote your company to the public.
Our team of practitioners are available to coordinate all phases of this plan with a choreographed overview of research, client needs, industry trends and past performance, which is translated and programmed to successfully reach the client's mission and achieve the stated goals and objectives.
We consider the total marketing mix in developing a cohesive plan of action for our clients' goals. Program activities and projects are developed from marketing strategies and a scope of work is created to direct the action plan and your brand.
Clients are encouraged to clearly define public relations objectives and their target markets; firstClass, inc. is able to assist in this process. We encourage marketing research, to replace guess work, when determining key demographics.
Goals and objectives
It is important to help identify goals and objectives of all media relations programs. Understanding the brand and knowing the type of public image the client wishes to cultivate is essential to effective media planning. While we work to develop specific objectives, these are broad-based goals that we endeavor to assure.
- Create an overall positive image and enhance the brand for the client.
- Communicate the full scope of program to the community served.
- Extract positive and appropriate press coverage from appropriate media sources.
Prior to the development and execution of any media plan, we conduct a careful analysis of any press activity on the subject matter-at-hand (i.e., client, product, service and people).
- Develop a current file of related articles.
- Determine the names of journalists who have reported on the subject – pro or con.
- Develop and maintain an accurate list of local reporters who cover the subject matter.
- Develop a list of local, regional and national publications to target for news and/or feature stories on the subject matter.
Our basic media plan, designed to insure effective media exposure, will include the following activities:
- Response to all press inquiries – local and national.
- Write and distribute press releases, media advisories, and other necessary materials to appropriate local and national press.
- Provide photographs to accompany appropriate press releases.
- Follow up on press releases to insure coverage and effective media placement.
- Develop "talking point" papers for individuals who speak to the media.
- Provided media training as appropriate.
Public Service Announcements, Talk Shows, and Press Conferences
In many cases, client activity will justify eligibility for "free air time" or public service announcements on radio and television. We actively pursue these opportunities by writing the PSA scripts and sometimes having them professionally produced or preparing designated spokespersons for guest appearances so that the message is most likely to meet a favorable response.
The same is true for radio and television talk shows where clients are often booked as guests to discuss their projects. We offer our clients one-on-one media training. We offer detailed instructions and provide hands-on tips for facing the camera or the journalist for your interviews.
There will be times, based on client activity, that the need for a press conference is particularly necessary and helpful. With our knowledge of media interests, we work with the client to help determine which events warrant the need for the press conference – understanding that when misused, this forum can do more harm than good. We advise our clients to only call a press conference when there is something "newsworthy" to say. Members of the working press should be dealt with respectfully. If you mislead them with a story that has no merit, chances are you may never get their attention again.
Our ability to guide the client through this delicate process of positioning their products and services, to tell their stories in a manner that will highlight public service actions, has proven to be very effective in securing valuable media coverage.
Social Media and Internet Marketing
Integrate Social Media and strategic Internet marketing in to the overall public relations and media plan. Select Social Media platforms best suited for client's products and/or services.
Press Data Bank
Reaching the "right" reporter for specific coverage is an important, invaluable and tedious task. Why? Because people change positions regularly – today's assignment editor may be tomorrow's news producer. When we circulate a press release or press advisory, we get better placement results because we know whom to approach.
Our extensive data bank of local and national media contacts is routinely updated to insure that we communicate with the "right" person.
Community Relations (Public Awareness)
Propagating and leveraging astute and meaningful community relations is a valuable practice, and can greatly enhance and advance our clients' objectives. Developing and maintaining an "inside" network within any community group depends on many criteria, including the specific demographics of the community (i.e., race, age, income, education, etc.). Knowing from whom "community clout" can best be obtained is one task; getting and maintaining community respect is yet another.
You cannot underestimate the value of community relations. It is important to us that we do not sacrifice our integrity when implementing a community relations program for a particular client. Therefore, we are very careful to accept clients in whom we can trust and represent with pride.
Goals and Objectives
Setting objectives to increase public awareness and to engage in a community relations program must be done after careful and thorough communication with the client. A few general objectives might include:
- Motivate public support and understanding
- Develop public awareness of the client, and their product and service
- Use existing community support groups and organizations to shape opinions
- Develop strategies for image building.
Communication Tools and Techniques
To assist in the necessary flow of current information to and from the community, we have found the following tools and/or techniques to be effective:
- Community Meetings
- Area Church Groups and Ministers
- Active Social Media
- City Planning Units
- Neighborhood Schools
- Community Leaders
The establishment of the "Neighborhood Advisory Committee" is an effective method of building community support and credibility; however, the group must be assembled in a credible manner and sanctioned by recognized community leaders.
Goals and Objectives
The major goals usually expressed by clients who need this service within city, county and state government are "positioning" and "access."
There is no quick technique here that a client can buy into. Long lasting relationships are built through involvement and appropriate networking.
One tried and tested technique is based on our understanding that people elect government officials. Therefore, our relationship with people - the electorate - drives our relationship with governments. Our techniques are result-oriented and can be summarized with the following:
- Remain engaged in the political process at all levels of government.
- Remain involved in local elections through contributions and volunteerism.
- Include elected officials in events and activities that give them opportunities for high visibility.
- Show appreciation for the public services commitment exhibited by government officials.
Strategic advertising is the only method that can actually control the message which the public will see, hear and read. When the task at hand calls for getting a message out quickly - such as selling tickets or attracting an audience, we generally recommend advertising to lead the marketing mix.
Through our 12 year relationship with a creative team, we combine our public relations talents to produce effective messages, creative designs and images, and strategic campaigns. We provide the following:
- Creative ideas
- Media Buys for Radio, television, print and outdoor
- Brochure/Poster layout and design
- Direct mail
- Internet Marketing/Advertising
Marketing research is the basis for strategic planning. Knowing all you can about your targeted market before embarking on any brand enhancement, media blitz, PR project, social media campaign, promotional event, or advertising campaign, avoids costly and timely mistakes.
Focus groups, surveys and many other forms of research provide vital information.