Public relations (PR) is the way organisations, companies and individuals communicate with the public and media. A PR specialist communicates with the target audience directly or indirectly through media with an aim to create and maintain a positive image and create a strong relationship with the audience. Examples include press releases, newsletters, public appearances, etc. as well as utilisation of the world wide web.
Public relations (PR) can help raise your business’ profile and improve your reputation. If done well, it can be a cost-effective way to get your message to a large audience. However, it can be tricky to guarantee success. Consider the benefits and challenges to make the most of PR in your business.
The world of business is characterised by fierce competition and in order to win new customers and retain the existing ones, the firms have to distinguish themselves from the competition. But they also need to create and maintain a positive public image. A PR specialist or firm helps them both create and maintain a good reputation among both the media and the customers by communicating in their behalf and presenting their products, services and the overall operation in the best light possible. A positive public image helps create a strong relationship with the customers which in turn increases the sales.
PR specialists and firms use a number of tools and techniques to boost their clients’ public image and help them form a meaningful relationship with the target audience. To achieve that, they use tools such as news releases and statements for media, newsletters, organisation and participation at public events conferences, conventions, awards, etc.. PR specialists of course also utilise the Internet tools such as social media networks and blogs. Through the mentioned tools, PR specialists give the target audience a better insight into their clients’ activities and products/services as well as increase publicity.
Benefits of public relations
The advantages of PR include:
- Influence – audiences are more likely to trust messages coming from an objective source rather than paid-for advertising messages. It is one of the most credible forms of promotion and can be persuasive.
- Reach – a good story can be picked up by several news outlets, exposing your message to a large audience.
- Cost-effectiveness – PR can be an economical way to reach a large audience in comparison to paid for advertising media placement, particularly if it is done in-house.