Four More Critical Lessons From 20 Years in Public Relations

At the start of our 20th anniversary, we published “Six Reflections on 20 Years of Public Relations”. As we wind down the year, we want to add four more critical principles that have guided our work of driving social change since the company’s founding. 

It’s hard to believe that just two decades ago we spent our time faxing, cold calling, and crossing our fingers for media coverage. When FCP launched, the PR industry was dominated by traditional media outlets ruling the day. Even though things have shifted, the same core principles still guide us. It’s noisy out there. FCP’s public relations professionals keep coming back to the same basic principles—the foundation upon which we build our work and our careers. These four principles reveal themselves to be rock-solid truths:

Create a Clear Vision of Success

Every successful PR campaign starts with a well-defined goal. At the beginning of every client engagement, we insist on developing a clear vision of success. The reason is simple – if we don’t know where we are going – how will we know when we have arrived? We need a clear sense of success so that we can reverse engineer a plan to achieve that success. 

Meet Your Audience Where They Are

The target audience is the driving force behind everything we do. When FCP was founded, our job was to get you into the paper when times were good and to keep you out of the paper when times were bad. Nowadays, people get their news from myriad sources. Our job is to identify the audience, determine where they go for their information, and meet them where they are with our message. 

Deliver a Strong Message

While we used to have to rely on reporters to tell our stories, these days we can tell our own stories through any number of media. But no matter if we’re reaching audiences on the front page of the New York Times or their TikTok page – a clear message will always be essential to the success of your campaign. Putting the audience and their needs first is essential. 

Key message planning not only tells your audience what you want them to know but also gives them a reason to listen. If you want people to take action on something, they need to know why they should do it and how they can participate. 

Tell Powerful Stories

When we’re trying to make a point about something one of the best ways to communicate our message is by using stories. It’s simple: stories are more powerful, memorable, and persuasive than facts alone. They help the audience connect with your organization or mission on a deeper level. Luckily for all of us, human connection will never go out of fashion.

It has been an honor to work with our clients, our allies, and our FCP colleagues through the years. Here’s to another two decades of working together to make social change.

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FCP Communications has been helping clients navigate the ever-changing world of public relations since 2002. Our team of communications professionals are ready to help you with communications planning, message development, visual storytelling, and more—contact us today!

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