We hear a lot of fuss about public relations these days- in the media, the internet and newspapers. But what exactly is public relations, or PR, and how does it work?
What is Public Relations
Public Relations is a practice that focuses on establishing relationships with the media and the public and creating a positive image among the target audience. PR campaigns are prevalent in many of today’s businesses as public reputation is very important in their success. By establishing relationships with the target audience, concerned organizations or individuals can communicate their products or services to them in a positive light.
A PR consultant or specialist is the person responsible for fostering a positive reputation for his or her clients. He or she communicates with them and tries to get their attention and trust so that the desired exposure and publicity are achieved. With such publicity in newspapers, TV, the internet and other mainstream media, people are going to learn more about the company and what it has to offer them. Furthermore, in times of crisis, the PR specialist will be the one to communicate to the public and the media to clarify worries and doubts and regain or maintain the client’s reputation.
Tools and Techniques
Common tools and techniques used in any public relations campaign may include all or some of the following:
Press releases The oldest in the PR toolbox, press releases provide information about the company or its products. If a new product is launched or a new store outlet is opened, the press release provides the necessary information for newspapers and relevant media outlets to use in their feature. Such mentions are not paid and people trust them more than paid advertisements.
Newsletters These are feature write-ups distributed to customers and the target audience to provide interesting information and news about the company and/or its products or services. It is a direct way of communicating to the public that is informative without trying to sell, but promote a good image.
Social media The large community in social media networks can be tapped with the right approach. It is a direct way to communicate with the target audience and establish interest.
Blogging This platform effectively reaches the target online audience and established relationships with them.
Attending public events Being seen and heard in public events is another way to promote the brand and its products. This provides opportunities to know people in the industry and speak them.
With the combination of the right tools and a good PR campaign, an organization, business or individual can greatly enhance their public image. Additionally, with a positive reputation, business goals can successfully be achieved.