The business industry has witnessed major changes over the past years and continues to do so. There are always new concepts and fields emerging that are hard to keep up with. However, the area of public relations is nothing new but has always been a point of mystery for both people in the business industry and those who aren’t. It’s not exactly advertising nor is it specifically aligned with marketing. That’s why many people and businesses don’t pay much attention to it, even though it was prioritized by geniuses like Steve Jobs and Bill Gates with the latter stating: “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.” So what exactly is meant by public relations, and why does it matter so much?
What Is Public Relations?
Public relation (PR) is a type of communication process that is strategized and used for either companies and organizations or individuals. It helps a person or a business to achieve a positive image and reputation through various strategies, mostly relying on traditional media, social media, and in-person engagements. A public relations specialist has the task of not only building and maintaining an image for their client but also building useful relationships with other individuals or businesses that benefit both parties. PR is all about sending the right message to certain people in the right place and time.
Responsibilities of a Public Relations Specialist
The duties of a public relations specialist vary according to their client and the nature of their business but there are some set basics for their job description. A public relations specialist is responsible for determining what type of information regarding the individual or business should be released as well as how it should be drafted and released to the public. They also determine the type of media used to release any kind of client-related information. Their biggest responsibility, however, is creating a public image that aligns with the client’s brand values and utilizes various ways of communication to deliver that image.
Why Does It Matter?
1. Maintains Brand Image
How people view a certain business or brand is a major factor in its success and popularity. Since public relations is mostly all about people, it’s an essential part of creating a suitable image for each brand and creatively and successfully deliver it to people in a way they can understand and connect to. A brand image gets cultivated when delivered through a third-party, which is the biggest perk of public relations. That’s why the character of a business or brand relies mostly on public relations. It’s a very delicate job since a good brand image is difficult to build but easy to ruin.
2. Community Relations
Any business wants to be held in high esteem within the community and strives to build a strong relationship with it. Any brand needs to be an active part of society and shows its appreciation towards it. Public relations help in strengthening community ties because these people are considered the local market for the business and its number one supporter. Public relations find multiple ways to connect with the community whether by donating time or money to a prominent cause in society.
3. Promotes Brand Values and Credibility
The relationship between businesses and customers has drastically changed in recent years. It’s no longer a simple give-and-take kind of exchange, people want to buy from businesses that stand for something. Many people are likely to boycott a brand or business for not having certain values or speaking on important social topics. People want to have trust in the business they are dealing with which is where public relations comes into play. Public relations strives to build brand credibility through various networking strategies and building connections with significant influencer figures. You can see it with many brands like how Google donates to help combat Ebola or how Facebook actively promotes LGBT rights, all of which attract many influencers.
4. Enhances Online Presence
This is the golden age of social media, and now it’s heavily involved in the business world as well. Way before social marketing existed, it was the job of a public relations specialist to bring about brand awareness and maintain communication with people. However, the field has adapted to the current business climate and now has an advantage when it comes to a brand’s online presence. To stay updated with the current digital business, you can check out the article 25 Powerful PR Tools To Try: The Complete List (Updated), which can help you manage the entire public relations process. When it comes to online presence, they can offer guidance on how a brand should present itself as well as handle any crisis thrown in the way.
5. Increases Sales & Profit
When a public relations specialist manages to build a strong positive brand image, deliver honest and authentic brand values, and builds trust with the community, it automatically drives sales for said brand. Many people don’t know that marketing is part of public relations and an important one as well. That’s why utilizing the services of a public relations specialist who uses a range of effective strategies is bound to bring more people to your doors. It’s all about successfully reaching the brand’s target audience as well as taking advantage of the right opportunities and capitalizing on them.
6. It’s Precise and Measurable
The best thing about public relations is that it’s a precise type of field that has a specific way of functioning. It’s a simple equation of implementing certain strategies and awaiting their results, similar to a controlled experiment. You can also measure the success of those strategies by examining audience response and the impact that was left by public relations efforts. The specific metrics of measuring the success of public relations strategies may vary according to the brand but it can be done through Google trends and access to web analytics as well as social media outlets. It’s important to remember, however, that public relation is a time-intensive discipline while trying to measure its effect.
Well there you have it, that’s pretty much all there is to know about the complex field of public relations. Even though many people view it as a dying field because of the digitizing of everything, now you know why it still matters and could actually add to the current modern business scene. Whether public relations is something you’re thinking of pursuing or thinking of hiring a PR service for your business, know that it’s a valuable field and service that deserves your attention.
– A keen writer covering topics such as Internet Marketing, SEO, Travel, Beauty and the such. He enjoys spending time with his two kids on his past time.