It’s often unclear what PR is, or the benefits of having a PR strategy. Most businesses ensure they have a marketing team or they outsource their marketing, but the same level of resource is often not dedicated to PR. The term PR falls into a blurred area with many people not understanding the benefits, knowing exactly what it is or how it differs from marketing.
Firstly, let’s start with what we mean by PR;
“Public Relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.” CIPR
“Public relations (PR) is the way organisations, companies and individuals communicate with the public and media. A PR specialist communicates with the target audience directly or indirectly through media with an aim to create and maintain a positive image and create a strong relationship with the audience. Examples include press releases, newsletters, public appearances, etc. as well as utilisation of the world-wide web.” IPR
Public relations is how organisations communicate with the public, their public image and how they build their brand and reputation as well as promoting themselves. The representation of an organisation throughout the media has a huge factor in influencing the public, and it is essential that PR professionals represent their organisations positively throughout the media and communicate key messages.
PR professionals use a range of tools to communicate with the public including;
A press release is a way to get your organisations news into the press and public. It usually includes the news story, as well as supporting quotes from your organisation. The aim is to gain news coverage in publications which your audience read. Once the article is written, the PR professional will reach out to the press and distribute the press release to the necessary publications.
Newsletters are a great way to inform your employees, key decision makers, customers, clients and target audience. Newsletters are usually filled with news from your organisation, important dates, blogs and meet the team are examples. They are a great way to build up a relationship with your audience as they are so informative and consistent. Depending on how often your organisation has news depends on how regularly you send your newsletter, businesses usually opt for a bi-weekly, monthly or every quarter to keep their audiences informed.
PR professionals will research upcoming conferences/events/conventions within your industry; attending these events allows your brand to circulate with your target market and your peers. If your organisation provides workshops or seminars a PR professional will research and organise relevant events for your business to take exhibition space, speak or provide a workshop, which will place your organisation as a leader within the field and profile your brand to a large face to face audience, communicating your key messages with the most relevant audiences to your business.
Awards are great to raise your organisations profile and obtain recognition within your industry. PR professionals seek out award opportunities for your organisation and will write and enter you into the award.
Regular blog posts will place the author and organisation as an expert within their industry. PR professionals will research what is relevant and align blog pieces with current news to increase the opportunity of your blog being reached by more readers. Blogs are great to share your views and opinions on recent topics as well as what is going on within your organisation whilst promoting your services.
Social media is essentially a platform to share all the above, what is happening within your organisation, how can your social media readers gain more from you, keeping your audience up to date as well as knowing what content is relevant to your audience by your analytical information.
PR is an important tool for all types of businesses, it builds trust with audiences through on going messaging and sets the scene for your marketing efforts by building your brand locally, nationally or globally.