What Is Public Relations (PR)?
Public Relations is the practice of increasing awareness around a company or brand among the public. Sharing information with the media and other influential sources can help with managing brand reputation. This could include good news stories, revenue reports, and job vacancies. Public Relations can be a planned activity that helps to shape the way the general public views a company. Product-related companies normally send out PR packages to interested parties, inviting them to share their thoughts and recommendations with their following in order to win some free press.
Elements of a Public Relations Strategies
Public Relations strategies can be made up of one or more of these five elements:
- Crisis Management: Controlling any negative press that could arise around a company to allow the business to operate as usual, with minimal disruption. Crisis management would include a strict management plan so that a company is prepared if needed.
- Media Relations: Building relationships with journalists and press personnel is the most important aspect of a public relation professional’s job. This is so that when something newsworthy happens it can be portrayed and controlled by the company through these relationships.
- Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR): Companies can gain so much from being part of a community and a Public Relations officer can ensure that communication between the company and community is open and flowing. These CSR activities can help attract new talent to the company and add to a positive brand image.
- Internal Communications: Consistent internal communication is hugely important to ensure everyone in the business understands where the company is heading. This could be communicated in the form of emails, press releases, company announcements, etc
- Event Management: Event management may fall on the press relations office to organize, particularly around press conferences or events aimed at sharing company news with those outside the business.
Public Relations Examples
Examples of Public Relations activities can be very broad. These include:
- Investor Relations Reporting: Sharing quarterly reports on how the business is doing with investors to keep confidence in the running of the business high.
- Media Productions: Creating informative videos or audio around the company to share internally or externally. The aim of this media would be to share important information to educate the target audience on a certain subject.
- Marketing Communication: Using marketing channels to share information. For example, posting a statement on Facebook or Twitter about a product release to reach as many people as possible.
What Is The Importance of PR?
PR is invaluable to companies today due to the rise of social media usage and the ability for news to become viral so easy. Public Relations professionals need to understand the media a lot more in order to comprehend the value that PR can have for a company. Below are just three important reasons to do PR in a business.
- Damage Control: Fake news can negatively affect a business very quickly, so PR personnel must implement their crisis management tactics in order to minimize the damage this news can have on the business.
- Branding: Sharing news, being transparent, and reporting positive figures regularly can build a world-class brand that is recognized across the globe, and can sell products without the need for marketing and sales.
- Internal Communication: As a company grows and opens offices in many different locations it can be hard to share the same values and keep employees up-to-date with everything that is happening. A Public Relations department can help to manage this relationship to ensure that employees are all working toward a common goal.
What Is The Difference Between PR And Marketing?
Although Public Relations and marketing might work together sometimes they are not the same thing and require different skills to be successful in the respective fields. These differences include:
- Target Markets: Marketing departments talk to potential and existing customers to try to entice them to buy more merchandise. Public Relations departments talk to people interested in the brand who could be investors, journalists, or customers.
- Goals: Marketing professionals are focused on increasing ROI through sales, whereas PR professionals are focused on building a brand and selling the company’s story to the world at large.
- Duration: Marketing activities can be broken into long-term (SEO, content), medium-term (email, video) and short term (PPC, advertising) activities that can serve many different purposes for the company. Public Relations activities tend to be more long-term focused on building a brand.