Milwaukee PR Duo Mastermind Campaign to Help Small Business
By Tannette Johnson-Elie
Public Relations is an ever-evolving industry and in today’s challenging media climate, developing strategic PR campaigns that are unique and meaningful is more important than ever.
In Milwaukee, public relations practitioners like Nepherterra Estrada and Johnna Scott are moving beyond traditional PR methods to launch cause-related campaigns that not only help their agencies stand out, but that also add value for their clients while doing good for the community. Research shows “good news” stories, specifically about local corporate giving and cause-related events, generate the greatest media coverage.
Estrada and Scott are the owners of Mosaic Communications, Inc., an independent, public relations agency with offices in Milwaukee and Charlotte, N.C. The agency, which recently marked its 10th anniversary, was instrumental in launching Milwaukee Small Business Week as an offshoot of National Small Business Week, which took place earlier this month.
In its third year, Milwaukee Small Business Week features a series of events throughout the week of June 2 that recognize and celebrate the city’s thriving small business community. Mosaic is collaborating with the City of Milwaukee’s Office of Small Business Development, local sponsors and community partners to host the annual Small Business Week celebration.
Both Estrada and Scott have long had a passion for helping small businesses to succeed and decided to build a campaign that aligns with their mission.
“The game is changing in PR. It’s not always about doing a news release; sometimes you have to be creative,” said Estrada. “Milwaukee Small Business Week is an example of that.”
By bringing small businesses to the forefront, Milwaukee Small Business Week enables the City of Milwaukee to identify potential firms to do business with, says Nikki Purvis manager of the city’s Office of Small Business Development.
“We want to make sure we have our finger on the pulse and help get small businesses engaged with contracting opportunities with the city,” she said. “Mosaic is a perfect example of how a small business can grow and utilize its talent to have a positive impact on the city overall.”
It’s a unique approach to PR: taking something that you’re passionate about and developing your niche around it. Many PR agencies and practitioners are going this route to remain competitive in a media landscape that continues to struggle.
As you think about cause-related PR for your own agency, here are some tips from Estrada and Scott for you to keep in mind:
Have clear goals and objectives
Every successful PR campaign should start with goals and objectives. “Having clear goals allows you to build a campaign that is focused and strategic” says Estrada. “It also allows you to develop the metrics you will use to track the campaign’s progress and success.”
Under promise and over deliver
By exceeding clients’ expectations, it helps build their trust and they in turn, will become repeat, loyal customers, Estrada says.
“Sometimes clients have unrealistic expectations of what PR agencies can do. We are communications professionals, not magicians, but we make sure that we deliver projects on time, on budget and better than expected,” she said.
Build solid relationships with the media
PR is all about relationships. Having strong relationships with media professionals on the local, regional and national level can make a huge difference.
“A true PR person has built personal relationships with the folks in the newsrooms and is able to pick up the phone and get producers, editors and reporters to take their calls and respond to their emails,” says Estrada. “When it comes to PR, good relationships with the media are priceless.”
Know your audience
Do your research. Spend some time getting to know the audience you are trying to reach.
“Where do they live? Where do they shop? What type of music do they listen to? A successful PR campaign should start with an in-depth understanding of who you are trying to reach because knowing your audience will allow you to develop messages that will resonate with them,” Estrada said.
Finally, have a call to action
Many PR campaigns often fail because they don’t have a clear call to action. A call to action is the part of your marketing or PR campaign that motivates people to take a desired action.
“Once you have the attention of your target audience, having a clear call to action is critical because that is your opportunity to get them engaged in your campaign,” said Estrada. “Are they supposed to buy a product, visit a website, call a phone number or like your social media pages?
The power is in your hands. Use it.”
For Small Business Week, Estrada’s and Scott’s call to action is simple: Support Milwaukee’s small businesses.
“At the end of the day, it’s small businesses like ours that are putting people to work and keeping our economy going,” Estrada said.