PR “Public Relations” and 5 Incredible Things That Every Entrepreneur Should Know About It
Anybody who’s on social media is in some way involved in PR or public relations, whether by leveraging likes with the perfect edit of a photo or building followers with curated content that creates FOMO (fear of missing out).
However, with so much of our lives and businesses on social media, it’s easy to lose favorability with our followers, by posting an image that offends some or by writing a post that rubs others the wrong way. Nevertheless, there are professionals out there that can prevent this worst-case scenario, so we will be informing you all, particularly business-oriented readers, what PR is and how a PR professional can best be used to build an appealing image of you for your audience.
What is PR?
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) defines PR as, “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” But in laymen, it’s simply the business of persuasion. These professionals are trying to convince an audience to buy into or support your product, platform, or achievements.
People who specialize in PR are storytellers. They advance your image, by shaping it in such a way that it’s favorable to your audience. Think Olivia Pope, how many times has she saved President Grant or another professional’s image, by spinning a tragic or humiliating event into a positive message?
These individuals are always prepared and have an arsenal of tools on hand:
- Social media
- Press releases
- Email campaigns
- Speaking engagements
Types of PR
There are 7 types of PR:
- Strategic Communications
This is the overall job of a PR professional. All their efforts are informed by their understanding of your own goals or the goals of your company.
2. Media Relations
It’s crucial for PR professionals to put you in a good relationship with the media, so they can proliferate ideal messages about you. Media relations often come in the form of press releases and pitching interviews with media outlets, so you can be exposed to your desired audiences.
3. Community Relations
While media relations is sometimes considered to be the end-all-be-all of PR, community relations is just as important. Directly communicating with your audience through your own platform (e.g. your company blog or polls on your social media) allows these professionals to gain considerable feedback from the people they need it from the most.
4. Internal Communications
Human resources and internal communications are like two sides of the same coin. They both work towards making your employees happy, by getting their needs meet and understanding areas where you can better support them. Achieving this increases your advocates and lessens the chances of negative reviews and gripes people may have with you, as an employer.
5. Crisis Communications
Despite popular belief, crisis communications comes into play before the crisis occurs. It’s important for PR professionals to have a crisis communications plan and a strong relationship with the media and stakeholders, so they can rely on it during an actual crisis.
The example below shows a clear and dependable crisis communications plan:
6. Public Affairs
PR professionals who have a keen interest in politics will engage with politicians and legislative officials to develop a relationship between their clients and the government. These relationships are greatly beneficial to you since they can provide mediation in matters of trade and corporate communications (i.e. how businesses and organizations communicate with internal and external audiences).
7. Online and Social Media Communications
In the age of the internet, it’s incredibly important for PR professionals to be adept at social media communications and to be involved in such activities as building relationships with brands, blogs, and the social media platforms that are most effective at generating positive stories about you.
PR Vs. Advertising
The key difference between public relations and advertising is credibility. Wherewith advertising a PR professional pays a third party to promote you and thus loses legitimacy, public relations is earned. PR professionals have to seek out and persuade writers and editors to write a positive story about your product, platform, or brand. Thus, the story is authenticated by a reliable external source.
The example here shows the difference between the credible PR vs. the doubtful advertisement:
Positive public relations is simply the end goal of a PR professional’s job. They want to build confidence and trust in others for you.
Though seemingly counterintuitive, negative public relations does have its benefits. Negative PR helps build your audience by driving fans and followers away from a competing individual, company, or brand and towards you. This is done by drafting and publishing negative stories about the competition.