What is PR?
Broadly speaking, PR is the process of maintaining good relations between an organisation and those outside of it. I tell my clients that everything they say or do is public relations. It’s not spin; organisations that have good relations with their public or customers walk the talk.
What can PR do?
PR is a lot more versatile than advertising, and whilst you’d expect a PR consultant to say that here’s why: public relations activity can influence opinion, educate, inspire and excite; it can create word of mouth and start a buzz. It can bring people together and, importantly, it can differentiate your brand or organisation from the competition. Ultimately, PR is a process that helps an organisation develop and maintain its reputation – what you do, what you say, and what others think and say about you.
There are a number of PR disciplines that can work together or alone as required:
- B2B, or business-to-business PR, might, for example, support a trade sales campaign.
- B2C, or business to consumer activity, helps to support communication between a business and the general public.
- Crisis management helps to contain a crisis or issue that will affect an organisation’s reputation.
- Lobbying or political PR encompasses tactics that influence the opinion of those in charge of making legislation or leading a large group of people. This includes industry associations.
- Internal communications help to manage the internal relationship between an organisation and its staff.
Typical PR tactics
A common misconception is that PR is just media relations, some people even think PR stands for press release…if you think that you’re missing out on a whole load of ways to reach your audience, here are just a few ideas to get you started on you PR plans:
- Events such as trade shows, customer events or business seminars can all help to gain new customers and strengthen relationships.
- Media relations is still a key element of any PR campaign but it’s got more complex thanks to the proliferation of websites, bloggers and vloggers.
- Stakeholder engagement can help to ensure everyone you need to take your business forward is onside.
- Celebrity or expert endorsement is invaluable, harnessing the influence of experts or personalities whom your customers trust is a tactic that can pay big dividends.
- Sponsorship is an excellent way to help to develop or deepen an organisation’s relationship with its clients but don’t forget to reserve budget to maximise it properly across all your media channels.
- Stunts can not only engage with your audience directly but, when done well, may also result in column inches.
- Networking and client entertainment – making your clients feel special and valued and getting to know them better – can only be a good thing for your relationships.
- Forming strategic partnerships with other businesses or organisations with common goals can help to create really memorable marketing campaigns that deliver real value to your audience.
- Plus social media, which can be used to amplify all the tactics I’ve mentioned, and also plays a valuable role in customer service, customer feedback and developing a dialogue with your clients and other organisations.
Of course, that’s not everything you need to know about PR, but you should now be able to take your PR planning to the next stage.
We can help you implement your own PR campaign. Talk to us about our PR training and tools packages. Email Nichole or call her on 01481 729 229.