Public Relations (PR) is the practice of building and/ or maintaining the public profile of a brand, organisation or business. Key elements of PR management include communication strategy, exposure, interacting and networking.
Ultimately PR is about storytelling and creating narratives to advance plans. PR can be used to protect, enhance or build reputations through media, social media, or self-produced communications. PR best practice is to analyse the organisation, brand or new launch, find the positive messages and then translate those messages into positive stories. In contrast, when the news is bad, PR formulate the best response to mitigate the damage. This is also known as crisis management.
In the same way that marketing has seen a movement from traditional to online, PR has also seen this change moving across into the digital world. Traditional PR involves more offline tactics such as press releases, pushing content and pitching in for editorial/ advertorial in print, TV and radio. While these traditional forms are useful they can be harder to measure and it is very important to get timings right - hitting short-lead and long-lead print timings is a key element.
Online PR involves elements such as a blog post on the company’s own website, article distribution, developing content that can be placed on other forms of digital media which refer back to company/ product etc… Or pushing content and pitching to online journalists to generate links back to a website. Promotions online or aiming to get high online traffic to independently help with the brand/organisation website SEO. In terms of timings, online PR can go live in a much shorter time frame than traditional PR.
Using PR and communications alongside your marketing strategy will provide a solid foundation for brand awareness and promotional activity. PR allows you to influence the media and liaise with media representatives that are relevant to your industry, with the aim being to ultimately get ‘free’ publicity for your organisation or brand - “Advertising is what you pay for; publicity is what you pray for”. Remember PR operates by using four key actions, attracting viewership, engagement and dialogue, building campaign buzz and crisis management. Understand how you are going to make each action work in relation to PR and go from there.
Advertising (Marketing) VS Public Relation