What is Public Relations?
PR, or PUBLIC RELATIONS, is more than seeding press releases and getting these published. PR is not just about getting your message across. It is about establishing good relationships with people affected and concerned about what we do. It is about creating a good and accurate image of ourselves in other people’s minds.
PR = Publicity + Relationship
In one sense, public relations involves generating Publicity hand in hand with initiating, strengthening, even repairing Relationships. Before, publicity means working mainly with the mainstream media. PR practitioners seeks to establish good relationships with journalists — the reporters and their editors.
But technology has changed this.
Today, we talk not just about media relations. Clients now require the presence of bloggers in press conferences. We now talk about blogger relations. With almost all saying their piece in social media networks especially Facebook and Twitter, PR also considers dealing directly with the larger audience online. We are even looking at new technology-based strategies in tandem with more basic PR principles in a whole new exciting realm called growth-hacking.
PR = Perception + Reputation
We in PRworks Inc., in our over a decade of experience as a public relations agency, have built extensive networks of journalists, bloggers and influencers in the Visayas and Mindanao. Based in Cebu in central Philippines, we consider the Vis-Min regions our turf. Here, we amassed a great deal of experience in making PR work.
Both theory and experience taught us that public relations involves managing Perceptions with the end view of building good Reputations.
Thus aside from growing the bottom line and accelerating business growth, PR positions a corporation, for instance, with being a good corporate citizen and efforts that uplift lives. The idea is to tell a brand’s story in a manner that its publics, the stakeholders, would identify with and embrace as part of their own. The perspective here is to go beyond branding and achieve affinity.
PR = Positioning + ROI
Achieving positive perception and reputation inevitably leads us to Positioning. Public relations helps make a brand occupy a distinct position in the mind. Merely getting one’s attention is not enough. PR does this through effective story-telling that engages a brand’s consumers.
With positioning in mind, the PR objective shifts from getting a brand’s name published to achieving marketing objectives. This inevitably means a shift from measuring a PR campaign in terms of column inches to how each published content supports the brand position.
Meanwhile, one maintains a sharp eye on ROI or return-on-investment. Technology has provided public relations today with cost-effective tools for monitoring and understanding the impact on the bottom line. In the process, business leaders make better strategic and tactical decisions.
PR = Policy + Relevance
Indeed, public relations has so developed that PR practitioners are no longer merely the person who write press releases or managed media events. Policymakers both in business and government today recognize the importance of public relations and communications. The PR guy or gal now are into more strategic solutions to more complex problems. PR has become crucial to Policy-making.
This leads us to Relevance. PR people today understand how to develop relevant messages and how to deliver these messages in a high impact and integrated campaigns directed at the right audiences. This means understanding the “unique selling proposition” of a brand in relation to what its stakeholders hold dear. More than understanding, PR seeks to create a sense of advocacy.
PR campaigns, thus, does not stop at managing perceptions. It strategically leads to accelerating business growth. And this process is sustained by achieving affinity with the public by uplifting lives.
Making PR work involves 3 basic tasks:
Manage Perceptions. Accelerate Growth. Uplift Lives.
How you can make PR work.
Conducting public relations, of course, is by no means an easy undertaking. Publicity, building a good reputation, and positioning are complex and long-term activities. Still, here are quick ideas that you can do to make PR work for you.
Be excited talking about your business. If not, who else will?
Some entrepreneurs hesitate talking about their work. Yet, people enthusiastic about what they do for a living are interesting to talk to. Thus, be always prepared to talk about what you do. Show people you love your brand. How can you expect others to if you don’t?Tweet This
Ask your customers: Will you recommend my brand to friends?
We don’t have to ask many questions. Just this one. We can consider people who would consciously recommend your brand to friends as fans. You should want to know how many of your customers do. You should also want to know how you could increase their numbers.Tweet This
If people heard of you, you must be good. If they heard a lot, you must be great.
When positive publicity makes you or your brand reaches people, the tendency is to assume that you are good. What if there is more publicity and people are talking about you or your brand?Tweet This
Don’t spam. Study the editors and publications first. Shows respect.
Tailor pitches and press releases to the editors and publications. While at it, include bloggers whom you are pitching your story. Each editor, publication, and blogger have different interests and focus. Taking the effort to send individualized messages demonstrates not only PR savvy. It shows respect.Tweet This
Create buzz – Things people gossip on. Then make it easy to find you.
An alternative to pitching stories is creating buzz. This mean doing something of human interest. Or perhaps, one might like to do something outrageous that people gossip on or share with others. After doing this, you then make it easy for media to find you.Tweet This
Make readers enjoy your story and think better of the publication because of it.
Writing a compelling story that readers of a publication would enjoy attract the attention of editors. These editors are on the lookout for stories that make the publication sell. Help them achieve this.Tweet This
Consider short attention spans. People should be able to convey your story in conversations.
Your story should be crafted in a manner that people would be able to absorb and share it in short, casual conversations with friends and family. This means keep your writing simple and use powerful quotes that people would love to share.Tweet This
Hold a press con to announce real news. Reporters prefer to ask.
Press conferences are simple events with journalists as the audience. Increasingly in the Visayas and Mindanao, bloggers are being invited to press conferences. Conduct one when you have something newsworthy to announce.Tweet This
Publicity that repulses people is undesirable. The best PR uplifts lives.
Our experience in PRworks showed that activities that aim to uplift lives not only generate publicity, the published message further resonates and get shared within the target audience.Tweet This
When sh*t happens, one may stay mum. But best to engage media and set the record straight.
Staying silent could work in preventing coverage of an adverse issue from taking a life of its own. But issues are often pushed and fed by various interest groups. The best response would be to present your side of the story. Take care to also maintain good relations with journalists.Tweet This
If you have reached this far, we guess you want to know more. You might want to subscribe to ‘PR UPDATE‘ or talk to us.
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