Know your Market
Before you present your case to management, get to know your market. Find out who your customers are and who your potential customers are. Pinpoint specific demographics and learn as much as you can about your market so that you can present the information to management along with a plan of action. Public relations jobs are all about action and getting in touch with the customer. Conduct customer satisfaction surveys and compile the information, including customer suggestions for improvement. When you are presenting your case for PR, you need to have a solid grasp on your customers, who they are and what they want.
Identify Key Publications and Media Outlets
The best way to show management that PR is a valuable asset to the company is to give them real time, real life examples. Show them that you can increase public opinion and reputation of the company while they manage and do their jobs. In public relations, media is king. Highlight several publications and media outlets, identifying those that are most relevant to your company and can provide the greatest benefit. Be prepared to explain just how a publication will be relevant to your industry. These publications will carry your press releases and the outlets will use the releases to create stories highlighting the company and its achievements.
Make your Case
If you are going to successfully pitch a PR department to management, you have to put a value on it. Highlight public relations jobs and the many ways that they can benefit the company. Give background on successful PR campaigns and how they contributed to a company's success. Show them studies and show the management how public relations can work to the company's advantage. You have to make a strong case and give solid, real examples. Managers want to see facts and figures. Think like a manager and you will win them over.
Turn Executives into PIOs
Some companies only appoint certain, trained PIOs (public information officers). However, that may not always be the best move. Smart companies are training their executives and upper management and giving them PR jobs. By putting key people who work inside the company on the front lines, giving them a voice and connecting them with the public, you will be giving your company a face that builds relationships with its customers. With some training in PR and some key placements of media, you can build a strong campaign with the executives as the front men. They may have never envisioned having jobs in public relations, but when they see the profit margin grow, they will be very glad that you convinced them to take a leap and bring PR to the company.