Public Relations (PR)
What it Means
The concept of PR is relatively simple - it's all about managing the flow of information between an organization and the public. It's about storytelling and narratives.
Public Relations practitioners work to protect, enhance, and build reputations through media, social media, and/or self-produced communications. PR can include messaging development, media relations, reputation management, crisis management, special events, and more.
In marketing, PR plays a crucial role in communication strategy. It helps to frame the public image and reputation of the company. PR specialists build relationships with journalists, influencers, and other key stakeholders to amplify positive news and mitigate or manage negative publicity. Want an article in a popular publication? Your PR rep would be the one pitching the story to journalists for earned or paid media placements.
Why it Matters
The power of Public Relations lies in its ability to shape perceptions and, in turn, influence behavior.
Credibility: News stories are often viewed as more credible than paid ads. Effective PR can help a brand build credibility and gain third-party validation through positive media coverage.
Reputation Management: PR helps manage a company's reputation, particularly during crises. It can help mitigate damage and maintain the company's credibility in challenging times.
Brand Image: PR can help create a strong brand image through communicating the story, values, and mission to the public.
Relationship Building: PR professionals build and nurture relationships with media, influencers, and other stakeholders. These relationships can help increase brand visibility and create opportunities for collaboration.
Consider a tech startup about to launch a revolutionary new app. The startup wants to create a PR plan/campaign to spread the good word to their target audience. They put together a plan that (a) identifies the target audience, (b) defines the key message for that audience, (c) select the distribution channels, (d) select the content for each channel, and (e) measure the results.
The app is focused on serving the tech and lifestyle sectors, so the PR team starts their focus there.
The PR team drafts a compelling press release announcing the app and highlighting its unique features. They reach out to journalists in the tech and lifestyle sectors, offering exclusive interviews with your company's CEO.
The team also organizes a virtual press conference to unveil the app. Influential bloggers and social media personalities are invited to trial the app and share their experiences.
When the app launches, it is featured in top tech publications and receives positive reviews from influencers, creating buzz and driving downloads.
Post-launch, the PR team analyzes the campaign results (costs, impact, etc). They update their campaign plan and continue to secure regular media coverage and influencer collaborations to keep the app top-of-mind for the target audience over the remaining campaign period.