Getting Familiar with Public Relations

This is part 1/2 of our series Getting Familiar with Public Relations. 

What is Public Relations anyway?

The Public Relations Society of America defines public relations as a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.

In essence, the purpose of PR is the practice of building awareness of a client by supporting perceptions, reputations, and key messages.

Who cares about PR? Or, who should care about PR?

  • Businesses small & large
  • Public personalities
  • Product launches
  • Public affairs groups
  • Companies with a crisis

Now, let’s take a look at how PR works.

How did traditional public relations work?

Public relations is extremely important for any entity that wants to gain awareness through more traditional media channels and personal networking.

Marketing vs. Public Relations

Marketing and Public Relations were generally regarded as two separate departments or specialties with separate budgets and measurements. Ask any old school PR person and they will tell you, PR is not Marketing because we don’t have to pay for our exposure.

Core Components of PR Strategy

Core components of a PR strategy include thorough research of the client and their company, acts of goodwill, evaluation of the current strategies they use for reaching critical mass, the needs of the target market, and other factors that must be known to create a natural message that aligns with the company’s purpose and mission.

Relationship Building is Key

A true PR professional combines strategic planning with relationship building. The bonds they created with journalists was key to the success of their messages. There’s a reason “relations” is part of the job description.

“Free Advertising” and More

Within the industry, PR pros regarded what they did as a method of “free advertising” using impressions  (the number of people who subscribed to papers, viewers of a news show, radio listeners or people who attended or watched an event) to account for dollars that would have been otherwise spent on advertising.

How do you get company information out there?

In traditional public relations, the release of information was mostly performed using:

Press Releases

Do you have the opportunitity to disseminate company press releases to traditional media outlets? Consider local newspapers, news programs, radio, magazines, and prominent industry publications.

PR stunts

Do you have the opportunity or budget to create a campaigns that generates awareness via unconventional means? Think outside of the box!

Live Events

Do you have the opportunity or budget to participate in event sponsorships or speaking engagements? Gain credibility by being active in your community and industry.

Looking to find direction and consistency for your messaging? Connect with our team of experts to find out what you can do to enhance your existing public relations strategy.