Public relation

What is Public Relations and how its work

Every association, no matter how large or small, ultimately depends on its reputation for survival and success.

Clienteles, suppliers, workers, investors, medias and regulators can have a powerful impression. They all have an opinion about the organizations they come into contact with – whether good or bad, right or wrong. These perceptions will drive their decisions about whether they want to work with, shop with and support these organizations.

In today’s competitive market, reputation can be a business’s biggest asset – the thing that makes you stand out from the crowd and gives you a competitive edge. Effective PR can help achieve standing by communicating and building good relationships with all organization stakeholders.

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Our definition of PR:

PR is about status – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you.

PR is the correction which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behavior. It is the planned and continued effort to found and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organization and its publics.

Terms

The following terms are used in the definition of PR:

‘Organization’ can be a administration body, a business, a profession, a public service or a body concerned with health, culture, education – certainly any corporate or unpaid body large or small.

‘Publics’ are viewers that are important to the organization. They include patrons – current and potential; workers and management; investors; media; administration; suppliers; opinion-formers.

‘Understanding’ is a two-way procedure. To be effective, an organization needs to listen to the opinions of those with whom it deals and not solely provide information. Supplying a barrage of publicity is not enough in today’s open society.

What is Public Relations?

Public relation activities ensure the precise movement of information between the organization and its public also called its target audience. PR goes a long way in keeping the brand image of an organization in the eyes of its audience, stake holders, investors and all others who are related with it.

For universities, the target audience would be scholars and their parents/guardians, for shops the target audience would be customers and so on.

 

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What can PR do for a small business?

PR is an often-misunderstood beast among small business owners. Many small businesses find it very difficult to understand what public relations is, what a PR agency does and whether they need PR or not. In fact, it’s not unusual for a small business to be cautious of PR. After all, you have to hand over a lot of trust to an agency working for you and irregularly it can take some time to see results. So we thought it was useful to look at the dissimilar ways in which public relations can help your business to clear up some of the errors that businesses have. Overall, most businesses will require a level of PR support at some point so it’s worth seeing it from the beginning and incorporating activity into future budgets or marketing plans.

  1. Making awareness with your client base.

This is possibly the primary reason that businesses think about investing in public relations. All businesses need sales to stay afloat and creating awareness of the product or service is the first step to achieving these sales. Like any form of marketing, it is important to ensure that you locate where your audience is and understand the types of media they are consuming. If you are a B2B business, then you should know which publications are read by your audience. These will probably be regional business publications or industry titles.

If you are a consumer business, then you should also know your audience well. If you don’t, it’s definitely worth doing some research into your existing customers or potential customers. Do they read the Guardian or the Mirror? Are they likely to read blogs, do they use a particular social media platform, for example? At a base level, you can use public relations to tell your audience that your business exists, what products it sells and to keep them updated on news and developments.

  1. Building your brand values

The next step is thinking about how PR can develop your brand messages and core values. Every business will have a number of messages they wish to convey to their customers about their product, the type of business they are, their ethics and who they are. PR is ideal for communicating these values and, over time, building up a loyal customer base. A long-term strategy would ensure brand messages are consistently conveyed to both remain on the radar of the customer and to ensure that the customer continually recognises the values they originally felt affinity with.

  1. Gaining trust, authenticity and credibility

Out of all the tactics within the classic marketing mix, PR is the one activity which gains the most trust within the customer. If you compare PR to advertising, for example, the consumer knows it has been paid for and contains messages that have come directly from the company. When you send out a press announcement, get interviewed by a journalist or put your product forward for review, you are getting a third-party endorsement, which put simply, cannot be bought. Of course, this does take a dimension of control out of your hands, but it’s always worth it to be endorsed by a journalist in one of your key publications.

  1. Underpinning and supporting other marketing and sales activity

Public relations are also good for underpinning and promoting any other sales activity. If you integrate all your marketing, you can ensure consistent messages are being delivered across different channels that support each other. If you are publishing a series of display adverts or releasing a television advert, it’s likely there will be a rise in the number of people searching for information on your company. This is where it really helps to have a series of positive and informative articles about your company or a particular product across various publications, which gives your business extra accreditation. Additionally, your marketing activity can be enough to trigger a PR story in itself. If you are a large business, simply releasing a new television advertisement or product is enough to get some significant coverage in industry publications. A small business may have to work harder for coverage but new products, launching new marketing campaigns or new websites are all newsworthy stories to the right publications.

  1. Building online reputation

The beauty of online PR is that the articles and mentions of your business are there to stay. Your business will continue to reap the benefits of these for the foreseeable future, compared to print publications, which as the old adage goes, are tomorrow’s fish and chip paper. So even if you feel that a particular article or feature didn’t drive a huge amount of additional traffic to your website, do not fear! By continually creating a bank of articles and features about your company and what you do, you increase your online reputation as well as the likelihood of new customers finding you via search, over time. If a new customer is thinking of using a new supplier or wants to find a new partner company, the first thing they will do is Google the names of any prospective businesses. It’s massively advantageous to your company if the prospective buyer sees more than your company website, your company Facebook page and your Twitter account. If they see four pages of articles, features and mentions and start reading, they will find out a huge amount of information about your business and who you are.