Ever wondered what Public Relations (PR) is and how it differs to Advertising or other marketing? Not to worry – you are not alone!
With the multifaceted services provided under the Public Relations umbrella, it’s often hard to define – meaning many overlook its power or place in the communication sphere and therefore lack its integration in their marketing mix.
Essentially, Public Relations is about improving the engagement, credibility and presence of your brand and business to potential customers, as well as pre-existing stakeholders, and provides opportunities that increase reach to other potential markets.
With the notion that people do business with people, PR takes the focus away from ‘selling you’ to provide information about the business and services with a ‘value-add’ mentality. WE DO NOT BUY ADVERTISING or sell ourselves.
Everything about PR is earned or achieved through unpaid promotional means.
What types of services can I get from PR?
Internal and external communications
This is most commonly found with large corporations and businesses that have in-house PR and communications. They ensure key messaging and company announcements are being filtered to the correct stakeholders – both within the company, outside and to media.
Examples of this are EDMs, intranet content, company newsletters, email correspondence, story suggestions and press releases sent to media etc.
Issue and crisis management:
A large part of PR is shaping and enhancing people’s perception of your brand. Which can mean managing issues and crisis when they arise to prevent damage to the brand and reputation of the business.
Realising and acquiring media opportunities
The most effective way to build credibility and generate brand awareness is to get your name out to the public. This means generating as much press and media coverage as possible: commentary, company mentions, giveaways, company insights, opinion pieces, topical news, events, etc.
Whether it is training you to speak to media, organising press conferences, or managing incoming media requests, large companies often rely on their PR team to facilitate these needs. For smaller businesses, hiring a publicist or PR agency is most effective.
Probably the most common form of PR, used broad-scale across all client types and sizes, is writing press releases. These are typically newsworthy articles or story suggestions relating to your business, which are pushed out to different media streams with the intent of getting the story picked up and run.
Article and Ghostwriting
PR firms also offer other forms of writing, such as social media posts, blogs, ready-to-use articles, book chapters, EDMs, website content and marketing collateral etc.
Although not always required, PR’s can also manage your events: bump in and bump out, promoting the event, managing ticket sales, getting media coverage etc.
Not every business requires all of these services – just as not all PR firms provide the full list – so it’s really about finding an agency that is going to meet your needs. The key is to understand how you and your business can benefit from PR.
If you have any questions about the different PR sevices listed, please leave me a comment.
For more information and my industry insights, check out the Women’s Network Australia website