- Public relations is about making you look good to the outside world.
- Public relations professionals work to obtain free publicity for their client.
- This is done by making use of the media to publicise positive stories about you, your company or your products.
- PR is not guaranteed to generate coverage as the media cannot be controlled. However, if you are successful, it has far more impact as it’s more credible and likely to be more interesting to read.
- Ultimately, PR is focused on building credibility and a trusted reputation with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour.
What PR is not
- Advertising - advertising is telling people you're good while PR is convincing them. Advertisers pay the media to feature their product or service which gives you complete control over what appears.
- Marketing – while marketing and public relations overlap, marketing uses research and advertising to promote and sell products or services
How does PR work?
- The mass media are always looking for fresh story ideas - particularly those with a human interest angle.
- PR professionals build relationships with key journalists, craft compelling news stories - making it clear why the client's product, service or personal history is important.
- PR must be fast, flexible and nimble because the 24-hour news cycle never stops and PR professionals take advantage of the news agenda to pitch stories.
- The ultimate goal is to fulfil the journalist's requirement for news while enhancing the client's image in the public eye.
Things to be aware of
- If it’s not interesting outside your business, it won’t get coverage.
- There must be engagement – especially with social influencers, such as bloggers, who can change public perception and behaviours.
- PR requires transparency. Make a false statement and you can be sure someone will dig up the truth.
Is PR for you?
Today's audience has never been more sophisticated and there have never been so many sources for news and information. A lot of public relations is simply making life easier for busy clients and journalists. The first thing to do is ask yourself what your objectives are:
- Do you want to sell more of your product?
- Do you want to alter/enhance the public’s perception of what you do so you can build your reputation as an expert in your field?
- Do you want to publicise an event so more people come to it?
- Do you want to raise awareness of a charity or charitable event to get more volunteers or donations?
- Do you want to manage negative publicity that has come your way?
What I can do for you:
- Evaluate what’s newsworthy concerning you or your business/product.
- Consult with you to define your audience, what you want them to know and advise which media would work best to reach them.
- Bring your story to life by showing how your business is impacting the lives of other people, helping people financially, supporting other businesses, etc. Find the human angle.
- Pitch your story to the relevant media to try and get coverage.
- Help you build your social media presence to raise brand awareness.
- Help you manage your reputation in the face of negative publicity.