What is PR anyway?

pr typewriter

In 2015, PR is about a lot more than drafting press releases, collecting cuttings and building relationships with the media. In order to be successful, it’s more about being in tune with the attitudes and concerns of consumers, businesses and public interest groups to establish and maintain mutually beneficial working relationships.

In addition to fulfilling their traditional role of getting a company’s message out, PR also develops ways to open the lines of communication between consumers and brands. Unlike advertising or marketing, which is often overt, PR aims to reach the masses in a more subtle, grassroots approach, proven to be the most credible source in consumers’ minds.

By influencing people’s perceptions – creating, changing or reinforcing opinions – PR hopes to kick-start a sequence of behaviours that will lead to achieving the organisation’s objectives. The hope is that a better-educated consumer will see through slogans and salesmanship, and instead feel a connection to a brand that makes them want to repeat their custom. More specifically, PR…

 

Builds credibility

PR enhances an organisation’s credibility because it utilises a variety of trusted intermediaries – newspapers and magazines, social media, TV and radio – to communicate with targeted audiences.

 

Is precise and detailed

Because we’re dependent on intermediaries, PROs have to carefully align their story with the client’s key messages and the intermediary’s focus. As such, it means knowing your client’s needs, their audience’s interests and the environment that the intermediary works in to make sure it everything fits. 

 

Creates long lasting relationships

Great PR establishes and nurtures relationships with important influencers, so knowing your business’ or client’s USP and what they can offer influencers in return is vital.

 

Is not advertising

Public relations is time consuming. Often a lot of what you do is opportunistic thinking and evaluating whether a story or digital post is news worthy. If you can do this, you help to make your business look like thought leaders, influential and on top of what’s happening in the market.

 

In the end, brands turn to PR with one constant concern – how can they cement their relationships with their existing audience, whilst tapping into new ones to grow their business? By understanding how different messages and tools form part of a wider strategy, PR can remain relevant. As the methods of communication evolve PR has evolved too and now encompasses both traditional and digital approaches as well as crisis management, event planning, advertising and promotion.