What Is Public Relations

What Is Public Relations

What Is Public Relations

One of the most frequently asked questions people have for PromoAffiliates is “What is Public Relations”? Simply put, public relations or “PR” is the professional maintenance of a favorable public image by a company or organization. PR is marketing efforts that see results, whether from a third party source or through free PR. So what is public relations? Is it paid advertising or marketing? No. Its main source of interaction with the public is through trusted sources rather than paid ones. For example a good PR firm will know journalists who work with the kind of audience they want to reach and rather than buying their favor, they build a relationship with their contacts. Hence the word “public” relations. To that effect, PR also trys to communicate directly with the audience rather than investors or other competitors. Let’s take a look at some things that you should know about public relations and how they can help your business.

PR Paints An Image

Public relations is very much about persuasion. Essentially you must convince an audience within your town or company industry to promote your ideas, create awareness for your product or recognize your accomplishments. So again, what is public relations? Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their public. It would not be inaccurate to refer to a PR person as a “storyteller”, a person who creates a narrative to serve their own agenda. Consequentially, PR is versatile and can be used to enhance, prolong or build a company’s reputation through the media, social media or self produced communications.

PR Tools

So we answered what is public relations, but what do people use in order to create PR? Just a few of the best tools for that job are press releases, pitches to journalists, special events for public outreach and more. Social media is also a vast sea of untapped PR potential, with endless contacts and the ability to reach a large audience rather quickly and easily. Another useful tool for PR is creating a crisis management plan. Crisis can mean a few different things here, whether there is a public catastrophe that your business decides to respond to, or a wave of negative PR that must be managed its important that public relations is used in a versatile fashion across multiple platforms.

What Is Public Relations VS Advertising

This is actually a pretty simple distinction. It is just unpaid vs paid, earned vs purchased and more often than not defines whether there should be skepticism towards the campaign. If a journalist is bought out to run an ad as opposed to doing a favor for one of their professional contacts, which is more legitimate?  Public relations relies entirely on convincing writers, journalists or bloggers to endorse you or your product. What that means is that the piece they wrote about you will be recorded in the editorial section rather than the paid advertisement section. Which of course your audience will take note of. Of course there is also a difference of price if you are using a PR agency. Advertising has huge retainer fees, whereas PR firms will work on a monthly schedule and can be hired for individual projects.

What You Need To Hear VS What You Want To Hear

Another critical distinction is of course that advertising agencies strictly work for a paycheck. They make money from your ads just as much as you do, so you are practically paying them twice. They are more likely to tell the audience what they want to hear about a product without any factor of honesty. PR firms get paid to essentially use their established contacts for your gain at no profit other than what services they charge you for. However, sometimes a business can garner PR without a firm and that is more often than not the best approach.

Understanding News In PR

News can be a fickle entity and operates in one of two ways. You either make a story, or follow a story. So, if you approach a journalist or writer they are going to be concerned with how an article in your favor will help them. Think about it from the receiving end. What is the story? Why should I care? Why is it relevant at this point in time? News is a fantastic source of public relations but you must follow the eb and flow of what is relevant to the paper you are trying to get in with. It is imperative that you create a story for the audience. Whether you are seeking news coverage that’s promoting a specific product or looking to be in more of an opinion based editorial you have to bring a compelling story or else the news-fish simply will not bite.

Social Media In PR

Social media is a growing platform for industry influencers and can be a fantastic way to reach an audience quickly. However, social media does not operate well with hard news sources, such as The New York Times, or another newspaper. Websites like twitter or instagram rely on relaying quick bits of interesting information to a wide audience in order to create buzz. While you can link your article to your social media account or reference it, don’t expect a huge increase in PR simply for the fact that social media relies purely on accessibility.

Public Relations Is Not A Specific Science

Public relations is an industry built on less than measurable results that can be unpredictable at the best of times. Because public relations relies on sources that are usually not forced on an audience but rather the audience seeks the source out it is hard and near impossible to measure or predict the results. You may see a surge of attention from an article mention one month, then absolutely nothing from that point on. PR is an effort that must be maintained

Did you like this article but still have questions? Need more specifics on what is public relations? PromoAffiliates offers free consultation and world class service.


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