Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics. Public relations and advertising are very similar, for example both can be used for promoting your company, working with outside media, developing communications and choosing the correct target audience. But both public relations and advertising can differ in some aspects such as advertising being a paid media and public relations being a earned media. In which this is a big difference between both of them.
Public relations is a valuable tool for any company. The Princeton Review notes that: “A public relations specialist is an image shaper. Their job is to generate positive publicity for their client and enhance their reputation … Public relations people working for a company may handle consumer relations, or the relationship between parts of the company such as the managers and employees, or different branch offices.”
With all of this different ways of publishing your media, being paid, unpaid or self published, it comes one question. Why do organizations turn to public relations instead of going for a paid media?
There are a lot of answers to that question, but the most important aspect of it is that the majority of people place greater trust in what they read and view from independent sources versus paid sources. This factor is like word of mouth, the most powerful sources in the world.
Another really important factor about public relations it’s developing relationships. Developing relationships with members of the media will increase the likelihood that they’ll be willing to do a story on your business. Of course that building this relationships takes a lot of time to happen, especially when talking about building trust. In terms of developing trust where the editor or reporter that you are working with know that they can count 100% on you and on the other hand, you know that their story won’t cause any negative harms on you.
Public relations is called earned media because you have to earn it. It takes a lot of hard work in the public relations industry. To earn a placement in the public relations industry, you always have to make sure that your story is newsworthy. That it will concentrate on your specific target audience and that you are writing the correct story to the correct target audience. Always keep in mind that if your story is newsworthy to some people it does not mean it will be newsworthy to other people. That is why it is really important to know who your target audience is and do your research. And most important of all, make sure your story is unique. That no one has seen or heard about your story before or that you have important factors of that story that no one else does.
After all, public relations is all about relationships, so make sure to maintain the ones you have. “It’s PR that needs to be creative. It’s PR that needs to be new and different. It’s PR that needs to be original. The best way to establish a brand is to create a new category, and creating a new category requires creative thinking of the highest order.” Al & Laura Ries.