What Are Public Relations

The unofficial definition of Public Relations (PR) is the public maintenance of the positive image of your company, and the steps you take to add value to your brand and continuously improve your client relations. These can include donations, sponsorship, alliances, events, volunteering and other acts that are considered to be more about the benefit to the public than the increase of your sales.

Public Relations are about creating and maintaining positive relationships.

Why are Public Relations hard to define? People often confuse Public Relations with marketing. While PR is a form of marketing, it generally consists of focused attention from third-party sources that create indirect advertising or promotion of you or your company. If a newspaper does a piece about your community practices, or your commitment to a cause, that is focused attention. Your audience will pay more attention to you because it is not a direct advertising campaign crafted my your sales department. An outside source has recommended you or your services as trustworthy and valuable. Through your public practices, you’ve created human interest by being recognized for your ethical practices or charitable efforts.

Public Relations are about creating a company people want to do business with.

The public loves a great story, and good PR is creating and telling a great story in the most compelling way. The better and more positive the story, the more likely you will be accepted and the more valuable your public relations will become. The best Public Relations coverage is spontaneous, but it’s also possible to create a well-structured PR plan and follow it.

When you start your Public Relations campaign, keep in mind the marketing side of your strategy. Your story has to be appealing to your potential clients otherwise all the PR in the world won’t help you sell your products. Keep the public informed, and don’t hide anything from them. Make them feel as though they are a part of your organization, and take them seriously. They are your investors. Don’t make them regret their choice to invest in your company.

Stick to one mission, and stand by one message.

Public relations are an attempt at improvement. Whether you have decided to improve your internal functioning, customer services, brand image, or public identity, ensure that your goals are clear and attainable. Take a stand on issues that affect your audience, and make sure that your efforts are recognized. Send Press Releases and contact journalists to see if they are interested in your story.

Good PR reinforces your reputation as a company that makes good decisions, protects their customers, and gives back to the community. To maintain positive PR, protect your reputation and evaluate all of your actions carefully. Don’t participate in anything that your public may consider questionable or controversial. Evaluate the possible outcomes of your PR decisions, and make sure they align with your mission and preferred public image.

Public Relations are a valuable investment. A commitment to invest your time and resources to create a positive experience for your customers will solidify your relationships, and provide unmeasured benefits for you both.