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  • Writer's pictureAlexson Calahan

Spell Writing for Public Relations (Tips and To-Dos)

My kids are very, very into spells and potions right now. They have set up a potion lab in my youngest's room and are drafting recipes for things like hypnotizing potions.


There is a ton of magic in spelling out your goal and the imagined process for getting there.


a woman blowing sparkles on a city street


That's what I do each time I help a client build a PR plan. Here is my recipe for a magical burst of public relations:


  • Hefty dollop of SMARTER goals. We all know (and love) SMART objectives and just today I was in a meeting where a colleague mentioned an update to that beloved acronym - Specific, Measurable, Actionable, Relevant, Time-Bound, Ethical, and Responsible. This addition adds a safeguard to the goal-setting process, ensuring you are thinking through not just the logistical ways in which you want to win, but considering the impact of your win on others.

  • Three sprigs of audience understanding. Who are you trying to build a relationship with? What is their current perception of your organization? What barriers exist between the way things are now and how you hope for them to be? Answer these three questions and you're well on your way to understanding your audience.

  • Compounded messaging in spades. Build your messaging so it educates, illuminates, and empowers folks to join you in this mission. Include a statistic that highlights the total impact of the problem you aim to solve and follow with a story that illustrates this statistic and how it plays out for those impacted. End with a high-level look at how your organization is solving the issue and what your audience can do to get involved.

  • Sprinkle of media outlet research. Never, ever, ever, under any circumstances, blast out a release or (even worse!) a pitch without researching the outlets you are sending to and the specific humans on the other side of those email addresses. A small, well-researched list of media prospects with personalized messages emphasizing the relevance of a topic to that journalist's audience will ALWAYS beat a giant list of random contacts.

  • Recite the spell, "My best results come from mutually beneficial relationships." It's a tenant of public relations and just good business practice - go after opportunities that offer something for both parties involved. The best media coverage comes when an organization brings a relevant and empowering story to a journalist whose audience is a mirror of those the organization wants to engage on a topic. Here's to concocting magic each time you work a PR campaign! If you find your spells are not sparking and bubbling, it may be time to call in outside help. At Small Adventures Communications, we love working with new and established communications teams to increase capacity and build strategic campaigns aimed at mutual wins.

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