We Specialize in Strategic Communications

NEWS FLASH: PR Does Not Stand for Press Release.

Contrary to popular misconception, public relations and publicity are not the same. A dedicated publicist can write and distribute a press release on your behalf. If that gets you some media coverage, great! But don’t say you got “good PR.” What you got is publicity. Good PR has a real, measurable impact on the achievement of your organizational goals.

So, What Is Public Relations?

In March 2012 the Public Relations Society of America announced this modern definition:

“Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

The operational words here are “strategic” and “mutually beneficial.”

Research Before Strategy

We start by learning everything we can about your organization—its mission and values, how you operate, the challenges and opportunities you face, your clients’ opinions about you, what distinguishes you from your competition, who your important audiences are, where they look for information, what objectives you want to achieve and how you will measure success.

Setting SMART Objectives

After finding out what we need to know about your organization, its stakeholders and its goals we will work with you to develop communications objectives that answer who, what, when and how much the PR program is intended to affect. A useful acronym many public relations professionals use is SMART:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Results-driven
  • Time-based

Strategy Before Tactics

Next we develop a systematic plan designed to produce outcomes critical to your organization’s success: reputation management, brand building, stakeholder engagement, revenue generation, issues management and beneficial shifts in constituent attitudes and behaviors.

Our Tactics Engage All of Your Important Publics

We identify the key messages you need to communicate, the most important audiences you need to reach and the most effective way to reach them.


We manage the flow of information between your organization and all of its publics—both internal and external. We engage and inform key audiences, build important relationships and bring vital information back into your organization for analysis and action.


We Serve the Public Good

The notoriously unethical business practices of some practitioners created a negative and false stereotype of our craft. So, for the record, understand that Payton Communications does not engage in misdirection, “spin” or other dishonest practices.  We take seriously our obligation to practice with the highest standards of truth, accuracy, fairness and responsibility to the public by adhering to the Public Relations Society of America Code of Ethics.


Moreover, we are proud to be part of an honorable profession that has served immeasurable public good. Public Relations has changed attitudes and behaviors toward some of the world’s most pressing social issues, from breast cancer awareness to drinking and driving to smoking and obesity. The public relations industry also has prevented consumer injury and illness, raised awareness of products that have improved our quality of life, advanced worthwhile causes and provided pro-bono services for institutions that needed public relations assistance but could not afford it.


Contact us to get started.