WESTCOAST PR: How public relations work.

11:37 PM

Current Music : Can't Stop Dancing by Becky G

As I have mentioned earlier, I am working on a full-time job. And just recently, I was involved in a beauty and wellness project. Of course, I was fortunate enough to be a part of the sub-committee and I was being assigned to handle and manage the PR of our company, as well as our launching event.
Things did not went well at the start of the project, due to our options on the PR Companies we have. However, I managed to get hold on one of the PR companies. All thanks to Marcus, as he really helped me a lot on the PR and Catering side, as well as the event photos that were needed for press coverage.

WESTCOAST PR Company was the one that we decided to work with for our launching event. It was a very good experience working with WESTCOAST as I had gained a lot of knowledge, and also learnt a lot from them on Public Relations. To be honest, I have zero knowledge on Public Relations and crisis management, as I come from a Finance background.

When I was assigned to handle and manage the PR for our launch event, I actually did asked myself, "WHAT IS PUBLIC RELATIONS?" before engaging with the PR company. PR is a new thing for me.

So, what is Public Relations (PR) ?
PR : In marketing, PR is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organisations and their public audiences.

Well, there is an old saying, " Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for. "

Basically, PR specialists are storytellers.
They bring the best of your company out, and showcase to your target/public audiences.
Of course, in order for the PR company to do an excellent publicity on building your company's image and reputation, as well as create a brand awareness on your homegrown services and products, one must be transparent, unbiased, and practical in providing information that you want your target/public audiences to know about YOU, YOUR COMPANY.

PR is the way organisations, companies and individuals interact with the public and media. This can be done through direct communications with the target audience or indirectly through a 3rd party (the media, bloggers, key opinion leaders etc.) with an aim to create and maintain a positive image and build strong relations with the audience.

I would say that, WESTCOAST has done an excellent publicity for our company, helping us to build our company's image and reputation, and also to create brand awareness on our company's homegrown products and services.

Well, I have been liaising with WESTCOAST for almost a month, and I am very happy to work with Koh Mayanne (Westcoast Client Service Director), and together with Dr Choy (Business Developement) and also Tun Putri (Consultant).
Through my experience working with PR Company,  I must say that Public Relations require a lot of thorough planning, crisis management, and contingency planning on pre-event, during the event and post-event.
Therefore, they take note on every little details in order for the whole agenda and event to flow smoothly, as well as able to handle and crises faced during the event.

For example:-
1) Ribbon Cutting Ceremony-  PR agency would like to know what is the arrangement and sequence, as well as who stands next to each other
2) Lion Dance Ceremony - What will the VVIPs be doing during the lion dance, do they follow or just enjoy the lion dance? Will it be too loud to conduct media Q&A during lion dance?
3) Media Q&A - The dos and dons; what should be asked, and what should not be asked by the media and bloggers.
4) Usherers - Their dress code, protocols, briefing etc etc.

WESTCOAST always surprised me with their questions, on the little little details. And I will be sitting down there and thinking "Well, why I have never thought about that?" or " Owh ya, thank goodness they've thought about it, or else I would have forgotten about it.".
Clearly, I need to improve myself more, try to analyse the issue more, and be meticulous a little more.

However, the most important for a PR to work on is the PRESS. They are the one who work on the press release too. Press release is the one that matters the most as it will be send and distribute it out to third party such as the media, bloggers, journalists, and reporters. They are the ones who is going to promote your brand to the audiences, spreading it out like a virus. Therefore, press release should be written in a way to attract them. Press release it's not just about bullet points, or points that were copied out from the brochures word-by-word, letter-by-letter. In fact, press release, it's like an actual story narrated by the PR agency.
WESTCOAST has been helping us on the press release, and they really did a great job on our press release. I realize that, in order for the PR agency to do a great job on the press release, company has to provide transparent, unbiased and non-asymmetrical information to the audiences - that's what we call "The Art of Communication" and they are the expertise in it.

How my marketing lecturer always warned us not to use "We are the best....." or "We are the one and only company who provides...."
But, I realized that they are able to restructured the whole sentence so that media/blogger will not raised questions like " Why do you say you are the only company...." or " Are you sure you are the only company...."

After 3 weeks of countless meetings and working with WESTCOAST, I really learnt and gained a lot of knowledge on Public Relations, how it works and how do you communicate with the audiences and at the same time build trust and company image.
Public relation is just as important as Marketing. A company may have top products or services, but without any brand awareness or company image, the products and services may not reach to your audience or your audiences may not be aware of your company brand.

To know more about WESTCOAST PR Sdn Bhd
kindly check out their website at https://www.westcoast.my/
or FB at westcoast.my

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