What Is Public Relations & Why Does It Matter?
What is Public Relations?
‘What is Public relations?’ It’s a simple question, but one that confuses a of lot of people.
There’s an official definition available from the PRSA but it’s not very clear. So for the purposes of this post we’re going to keep things simple:
“Public Relations is the art of using storytelling and relationship building strategically, to promote a message and image that is beneficial to your businesses and brand.”
At its core PR is often about using the media to achieve the objectives of your business.
Public Relations can include actions such as:
- Crafting a brand image that appeals to your target audience
- Building relationships with journalists, influencers and bloggers
- Working to get your brand featured in the media in a favourable way
- Identifying stories that feature your brand and will appeal to journalists
- Managing any negative publicity or stories which could adversely affect your brand
- Engaging with stakeholder groups to promote a message that is favourable to your business
What Media Channels Does PR cover?
Public Relations covers pretty much any media channel that you can think of, and then uses them to promote your brand. Generally speaking it’s best practice to focus your efforts on the media channels that are used and trusted by your target audience.
Examples of media channels include:
- Traditional newspapers
- Online newspapers
- Local publications
- Social media
What Are The Benefits of Public Relations?
So you might be wondering what is Public Relations going to do for your business. Well the great news is that it can actually do quite a lot.
- PR builds credibility – Public Relations helps to build credibility around your brand. It does this by crafting a stable and engaging brand image and then communicating that image through popular media channels. For example if you see a positive story about a brand in a well know national newspaper, some of the credibility from that publication will be transferred to the brand (increasing trust).
- PR can be cost effective – Publicity is something which you generally ‘earn’ through hard work and relationship building, rather than buy, as you would with advertising
- PR delivers results – A great public relations campaign will see your brand featured positively in multiple media outlets. This can quickly translate into Millions of people seeing your brand and hearing your story – driving brand awareness and business enquiries.
What Does PR Mean For Small Business?
Public Relations represents an often untapped opportunity to raise awareness of your brand through the media.
Is Public Relations Relevant For Small Businesses?
Yes absolutely. Small businesses generally have small budgets. Investing in Public Relations can translate into your business being featured in the media and being seen by thousands of potential customers. This can lead to a big upswing in business.
Do I need a big budget to use Public Relations?
If you have a small (or no) PR budget, you can do your own Public Relations by using easy DIY PR tools such as Brandollo.
Alternatively you can hire a PR agency or consultant. Professional Public Relations consultants and agencies will usually have existing relationships with journalists and will be very skilled at crafting your story angle.
So back to our question, what is Public Relations and does it matter?
Public Relations is one of the most powerful tools available to both small and big businesses alike. It can boost awareness of your brand, act as a tremendous sales tool and enable you to connect with thousands of people. However like most things, it’s only when you decide to invest in PR that you’ll see the results you hope for.
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