Public relations is more than just pitching stories.....

Updated: Jun 26, 2019

Public relations or PR is more than just pitching stories to the media or mailing out press releases. The PR umbrella covers a number of related activities, all of which are concerned with communicating specific messages to specific target audiences.

If you’re the PR person at Blah Blah Beauty Brand or That Clinic or Salon Down The Road, you’re responsible for managing communications between your company and your public.

The label public relations or PR typically encompasses the following:

Research: You have to thoroughly understand not only your company but also your customers and potential customers. What do you offer that is unique or special? What are customers looking for? And how well do you fill those needs? Market research and an internal company audit are the starting points of successful PR campaigns.

Strategic planning: Define each target audience, your marketing objectives for that group, and the messages you must communicate in support of those marketing objectives.

Publicity: For most small businesses, the central public relations activity is publicity — getting visibility for your products, the company, and the owners in print and broadcast media. I define publicity as “proactive management and placement of information in the media used to protect and enhance a brand or reputation.” Simply put, this means getting column inches and airtime.

Community relations: Recently, I saw a TV news report about local people protesting a big retail chain that wanted to build a superstore in their town, because it would wipe out a simple old tree. That chain has a community relations problem in that town, and the PR professional’s job is to find a favorable solution that will get the premises built while preserving the chain's goodwill with the community.

Internal relations: Employees are the internal audience. With the unemployment rate at an all-time low, good employees are hard to find, and a good public relations program job can help improve loyalty and retain more of them.

Stakeholder relations: A stakeholder is anyone or any organization that holds a stake in how well your company performs. A key vendor is a stakeholder; rumors that you are financially shaky may cause them to restrict your credit terms. Other key stakeholders can include top consultants, board members, your bank, suppliers, sales representatives, distributors, and industry gurus.

Charitable causes: When a company gives to charity, it wants to help the cause, but it also wants to be recognized for its contribution. PR specialists can help you get maximum publicity and goodwill from the time, effort, and funds you donate.

Communications training: In large corporations, PR specialists may spend a lot of time coaching senior executives in dealing with the media and other communications skills. The specialists may also advise the executives on strategy for day-to-day PR as well as PR crises

Now that you have the bigger PR picture what areas do you need to focus on to build your internal and external relations? Let us know.

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