A lot is said about PR and publicity. Most often, we hear about the work of publicists and PR specialists when a company is trying to cover up some embarrassing scandal or other such mishaps. However, there’s a lot more to PR than that, and we’ll be getting into the nitty-gritty of the world of PR and publicity in today’s blog.
What is PR, exactly?
Before we dive into things, though, we should take a look at what PR really means. A lot of people certainly have a passing understanding of what PR is or what a PR person does, but not as many know exactly what it means. Well, PR, or Public Relations, revolves around the management of the public perception of an individual or organization. This is usually done by getting the right piece of information out at the right time to the right people to, hopefully, strengthen that person or group’s reputation.
The way this is done can look like a lot of different things. A PR person can do anything from writing a press release or speaking to journalists to handling interviews or press conferences to managing internal business communications. Since the world is so online, you’d also often see a PR person managing social media and website content.
You might be asking yourself right now – well, what exactly is the difference between PR and marketing? There’s certainly a lot of overlap, especially as marketing moves into an even more brand reputation and content development-oriented space. But, at a baseline level, marketing’s end goal is about selling products and/or services, while PR is about managing reputation and image. This isn’t to say that a good PR team won’t help your marketing efforts, it’s just that the goal of PR is different.
What can PR do for you?
A good PR team or good publicity, in general, can be impactful for any business, big or small. Well-managed PR can improve your brand’s credibility and reputation, thereby increasing trust in your business amongst the public or amongst clients you want to target. These days more than ever, trust is a key component in getting deals done and making sure you’re making sales. This is the primary way in which PR can affect your profits. If your company has a strong reputation, then people are more likely to check you out.
How can you improve your PR?
These days, there are a lot of ways to improve your PR and garner some good publicity.
Write engaging content. As they say, content is king. People, more than ever, love consuming interesting, well-made, and engaging content. This sort of content can build a lot of trust and positive rep for your brand. This strategy can also work hand-in-hand with any content marketing efforts your company might be involved in. You can never produce too much good content.
Social Media. The way we communicate has changed drastically even over the last decade, and the online space is where a lot of interaction happens. Having a strong social media presence can help you build up good publicity and will allow you to interface directly with potential customers, clients, journalists, and more.
Build relationships with the press. Having said that, though, traditional media still holds a lot of power in terms of how people view individuals, businesses, products, and more. At one point, the press is going to be writing about you, so you might as well build a good relationship with them. Beyond that, though, PR is all about building up trust, and people still trust the media. This has been born out in numerous surveys and studies. Getting a good press release, for example, out to the right news media source can be huge for any business. If you’re a smaller business, it can also be important to work with your local news media. It can be difficult to get coverage on national news media, as that’s typically reserved for the big players. However, your local news needs stories to cover, and that gap can be filled by you and your business.
Create publicity opportunities. This one is as straightforward as it gets. If you want good publicity, you can conjure some up by supporting a charity or host a fundraising event. This should result in some free positive press and build up trust in your brand.
Train your staff. This is key. In many ways, everyone who works at your company is involved in marketing and PR if they interface with the public or with clients in any way. Every interaction your company has with the outside world is a chance to generate some good PR. That’s why it’s important for your staff to have a baseline level of knowledge about the company and for their customer service to be top-notch.
PR is huge in building up trust and a good reputation for your company or organization. These days, there are more ways than ever to drum up some good publicity, and it’s important to know how it’s done. Make sure your company is getting the PR that it deserves.