Public relations (PR) is often misunderstood. Some people think of it as simply the act of putting out fires or dealing with negative press. While those are certainly important, there are many other functions that PR professionals carry out daily.
Think about public relations this way.
Your company has the best employees, the best products and services, and the best customers. Yet, when attempting to enter a new market, if no one has heard of your company, then establishing a foothold or even attracting top talent will be hard.
Public relations needs to be considered in tandem with marketing because it is about fostering good relationships with customers and other stakeholders, managing the reputation of your brand or organisation, and telling the story of its successes.
21st century public relations is about so much more than just maintaining a positive image; it’s about using various channels to communicate with different audiences, build relationships, and achieve measurable business objectives.
Here are a few common public relations activities:
- Writing and distributing press releases
- Arranging interviews and media events
- Creating content for social media platforms
- Managing crisis communications
- Writing brochures, website content and other marketing material
- Monitoring news coverage and conducting research
Each of these activities has the potential to positively impact your business in several ways.
For example, writing and distributing press releases can help increase brand awareness, while arranging interviews and media events can generate positive publicity for your company.
Creating content for social media platforms can help you connect with customers and build relationships, while managing crisis communications can help you protect your reputation in the event of negative publicity.
Developing marketing collateral such as brochures and website content can help promote your products or services, while monitoring news coverage and conducting research can help you stay up-to-date on industry trends and understand how the public perceives your brand.
Public relations is a critical function for any business that wants to build and maintain a positive reputation. By engaging in various PR activities, businesses can increase brand awareness, generate positive publicity, connect with customers, protect their reputation, and stay up-to-date on industry trends.
If you want to improve your business’s bottom line, consider investing in a PR strategy.
One important function of Public Relations is media relations. This involves developing and maintaining relationships with members of the media. PR professionals work with the media to get their client’s story told in a positive light. This is through press releases, interviews, or even simply providing background information to reporters.
Another function of Public Relations is crisis management. This is when PR professionals help a company or individual deal with a negative situation thathas arisen. This could involve working with the media to control the narrative, issuing statements on behalf of the client, or even holding press conferences.
PR professionals also carry out many proactive activities, such as event planning, brand building, and thought leadership. Event planning involves organizing events, such as trade shows, product launches, and press conferences.
Brand building is all about creating and maintaining a positiveimage for a company or individual through social media, advertising, and Public Relations campaigns.
Thought leadership is when PR professionals help position their clients asexperts in their field by writing bylined articles, conducting speakingengagements, or holding workshops.
PR can help businesses achieve their goals, build a positive image, manage their reputation, and communicate with the public. It can also help them attract new customers, generate publicity, and create content for their own channels.
Public relations can help businesses:
- Develop and maintain a positive image by positioning the company in a favorable light to the public. This is important for retaining and attracting potential customers.
- Build and maintain relationships with customers, clients, and the public by providing valuable information and feedback.
- Communicate with the public by sending out press releases, interviews, and holding press conferences.
- Manage their reputation by monitoring online conversations and managing customer complaints.
- Respond to crises by issuing statements, organizing press conferences, and setting up a crisis management plan.
- Promote their products and services by creating marketing materials suchas brochures, websites, and customer stories.
- Attract new customers by increasing visibility and awareness of the company, its products, or its services.
- Generate publicity by securing media coverage in print, online, and broadcast outlets.
- Social media content creation and management
- Introduce business partners, investors, or new employees to the company through events or media relations.
- Establish trust and credibility by being transparent in all communications.
Other PR roles include:
Having a clear PR strategy in place can help businesses achieve their goals more effectively. A good PR strategy will consider the company’s unique strengths and the needs of its target audience.
Maintaining a positive reputation is essential for any business. PR professionals can help by monitoring online conversations and managing customer complaints. They can also work with the media to get the company’s story told in a positive light.
When a company is involved in a lawsuit, PR professionals can help by communicating with the media and managing reputational risks.
PR professionals can help businesses by creating internal communicationsplans and employee training programmes. They can also assist with media relations where employees are interacting with the press.
These assess the effectiveness of a company’s Public Relations efforts. Audits can help businesses identify areas where they need to improve and change their PR strategy.
Many businesses choose to hire PR firms or consultants to provide counsel on a variety of Public Relations issues. This can be helpful for companies that don’t have in-house PR staff or that need expert advice on specific projects.
Soundboarding is a technique used to determine how an audience will react to a message before it’s released. PR professionals can use soundboarding to test the reaction of different groups to a company’s messages, products, or services. Or, soundboarding can be one-on-one with the client to flesh out an idea, or to give an opposing view from a different angle.
Public Opinion Research
This is to understand how the public feels about a particular issue or used to gauge public opinion on a company’s products or services, or to understand how the public feels about an issue that the company is involved in.
By working with a third party supplier, market research helps to understand a target audience’s opinions, attitudes and behaviour. The resulting data has multiple uses, including a press release, interviews, thought leadership, infographics, social media content, and more.
Public Relations Examples
Publicity is key for a successful product launch to encourage sales and enquiries. These include issuing a press release providing details about the product, holding a media event to introduce the product and attract coverage, contacting journalists, bloggers and other online influencers to review the product, generate buzz by releasing teaser videos or images, running contests,or giving away free samples.
A thought leadership campaign can help businesses build trust with customers by positioning the spokesperson as an expert in their field. Thought leadership content can also help businesses attract new customers and increase visibility and awareness of the company, its products, or its services.
When a business opens a new office, it can use public relations to generate publicity. The PR team can work with the media to get the company’s story told in a positive light. They can also create marketing materials such as brochures, websites, and customer stories. The PR team can also organize events to introduce business partners, investors, or new employees to the company.
Note: Rather than an event, a press release and interviews might be the better route.
Public relations plays another important role in helping introduce strategic partners, influencers and others that can help promote the business. This is through face-to-face meetings, online research, attending conferences and other events related to the industry.
Touched on briefly before, another function of public relations is event planning. This involves planning and executing events such as trade shows, product launches, workshops and more. Event planning requires careful coordination and communication between multiple parties to ensure a successful outcome.
A press trip is an opportunity for journalists to learn more about a destination, product or service. PR professionals often organize press trips to help journalists write stories that are interesting, informative and to introduce senior executives. For press trips, the client pays for everything, e.g. travel insurance, flights, hotels, meals, and others.
[Some media organisations do not permit staff to go on press trips.]
How Much Does PR Cost?
Public relations is an important part of any business, yet many people are unaware of how much it costs and there is no right answer as this depends on the size and scope of the project.
Then the location needs to be considered as well. If you want a PR programme in Hong Kong and Tokyo, the cost will be much higher than if you were to justpick one city. In some countries, English is not the first language, so expect there to be translation / interpreter costs on top of the regular PR fees.
Hourly - Invoiced for the number of hours worked each month.
Project - A flat rate and great if your needs are sporadic.
Retainer - A monthly fee paid in advance for a specified number of hours ordeliverables.
Flexi - A combination of retainer / projects / hourly.
Other - PR campaigns can involve multiple levels and the agency may hold themaster contract and sub-contract work. Or they may be involved in one aspect ofan overall project.
Realising Growth Potential With PR
Public relations can be a complex and daunting task for business owners, but it is an essential part of any business. Hiring a PR agency can be a great way to ensure that your company’s story is told in the best light possible. The right PR team will work with you to create a strategy that meets your specific needs and goals.
Public relations is the process and strategy of getting your company’s storytold in order to improve visibility, reputation, trust. A PR agency will provide support for growth plans, lead generation, and marketing communications.
They will be your guiding beacon through the complexities of doing business in a new market, and they will be a trusted partner in realising your company’s growth potential.