What is Public Relations

What is Public Relations?

Public Relations is a crucial part of any business communications and building reputation strategically. Most of the time businesses perceive public relations to be the same as marketing, such as running advertisements and promoting. As stated by the Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA), PR is a result of what you do, and what others say about you, that is achieved through various means like short-term campaigns, viral campaigns and furthermore working with communities.

In simple words, public relations is a strategic process to manage the release and unfurl the information related to the organisation into the public for maintaining a favourable reputation of the business and its brands. The parameters that are primarily focused are –

  • What information to release
  • Drafting of the information
  • Method of release
  • Medium used to release the information

Objectives of Public Relations

The prime objective of public relations is to develop a strategic relationship with the public, partners, customers, prospects, investors, employees and stakeholders. As a result, PR helps in developing a positive image of the brand furthermore making it seem honest, successful and relevant.

Significance of Public Relations

More than 63% of the value of a company depends on the public image of the company. As a result, PR has become a very important topic for various reasons-

  • Enhances the brand image

The brand image is organically elevated when the target customer is aware of the company through third-party media outlets. In addition, a thorough public relations strategy helps in building the image of the brand in a successful way.

  • Strengthen relations with community

Public Relations are also a way to convey that the brand is more of a part of society as much as its target audience. Thus, making the relationship of the brand stronger with the public.

  • More effective than advertising

Public Relation of a brand in any form such as testimonials, word-of-mouth or media coverage is more trustworthy than gains through advertising. As per Nielsen’s study, PR is 90% more effective than advertisement to influence consumers. Perhaps, getting brand mentions from existing customers is more valuable and weighted than an ad, as it is earned and not paid.

  • Creates long relationships

PR helps in developing long-lasting relationships and generates goodwill for the business, as it is recognized as trust-building.

However, developing and maintaining relationships with the public may seem like a time-consuming process but complying with it strategically on a daily or weekly routine is easy to keep doing PR the results are substantial and hook in new customers and more people talking about the business.

How is PR different from marketing?

In most of cases, PR and marketing use similar techniques. Marketing uses techniques such as product, promotion, price and place whereas, promotion is one of the key techniques used in PR. Both marketing and public relations do aim at developing a brand for the organisation but they differ in approaches to achieve the outcomes.

Marketing is about nurturing and influencing the audience for investing in the company’s services or products, while on the other hand, public relation focuses on maintaining and protecting the reputation of the brand. Moreover, a successful PR helps the brand to be more successful in all terms also making marketing much easier. A combination of both marketing and PR for a well-reputed company contributes to the growth and success of the business.

Types of Public Relations

As per the functionality of department/agencies of public relations, professional PR services are divided into 7 types mainly-

Media Relations– The businesses need to develop a good relationship with the media organisations along with being their source of content.

Government Relations– The brands should be represented to the government for fulfilments of certain policies such as corporate social responsibilities, consumer protection, fair competition, employee protection, etc.

Community Relations– To handle the social aspect of the brand and also to develop a positive reputation in a social niche such as environment protection, education, etc. the businesses have to establish strong community relations.

Investors Relations– Fulfilment of investor events, regulatory filings, and release of financial reports, handle investors, analysts, media queries and complaints is a part of PR.

Customer Relations– Maintaining relations with the lead consumers and target market. Moreover, conducting market research for collecting more information on customer interests, priorities and attitudes for influencing the same by crafting strategies through earned media is also a significant part of public relations.

Internal Relations– Updating the employees with regard to policies, responsibilities towards organisations, course of action. Additionally, cooperating with them towards special products launches and events.

Marketing Communications– To support the marketing efforts related to product launch, campaigns, brand awareness, and other marketing strategies.

How PR does helps businesses?

PR helps the brand in building trust among the customers significantly, resulting in customers opting for a brand that they know or they trust due to the company’s reputation. This makes it easier for businesses to attract and retain customers.

The workforce of an organisation has a direct hand in the reputation of the organisation. Therefore, an unhappy workforce will indirectly hinder the service and customer experience. Moreover, through positive and effective two-way internal communication PR also helps to maintain the staff relationships in a way that makes them feel they are valued by the organisation. Hence, PR helps in creating a positive workforce resulting in increased productivity and improved customer service.

Public Relations in form of external communications impacts the business’s success positively. Professionals from the organisations are appointed to ensure the external communications are targeted correctly to reach the right audiences. However, not only mainstream media but social media also plays a significant role in external communication and brand promotions.

Local market reputation is also important for a company’s reputation, therefore the local audience also needs to be well-informed. These audiences can be turned into potential customers by developing trust in the long term which will be beneficial for the company even in the time of crisis without much hampering the brand reputation.

Final Thoughts

It is important for businesses to invest in good public relations strategies for maintaining a beneficial relationship with potential customers.