Posted in Marketing & Strategy Articles, Total Reads: 754
, Published on 01 December 2016
According to Institute of Public Relations ‘Public Relations practice is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organization and its public.’
Public relations is an integral part of any company’s ongoing marketing plan. But the execution of Public Relations campaigns depends upon the goals. So what a public relations does normally? Public relations is mainly involved in lot of activities which enhance brand image of the company as well as the source of exposing the services and products a company offers. It also forms an integral part of company’s promotional strategies. The positioning of a company can be done via effective Public Relations strategies.
Normally, a good Public Relations strategy is aligned to the company’s vision, mission and objectives at corporate level. It is all about creating a good relationship between organization and the key interest groups which comprises of opinion leaders, customers, pressure groups, suppliers and the like. To get good understanding of perceptions among key audiences, Public Relations should also be involved in the continuous monitoring of press and media and should gauge opinions through primary as well as secondary research.
Public Relations can be projected as a management function as it forms the ‘ears’ and ‘eyes’ of an organization. Public Relations department has the clear view of what is happening within the organization and also the perception of their key audiences about the organization. The organization’s identity is in a way created by the Public Relations team as they are the sole team who knows in and out of a company be it organizational culture, pressure of particular vertical, operational environment of a company and so on. Public Relations bridge the gap between the organization and the public. The Public Relations has various disciplines which include community relations, employee relations, financial relations, product-public relations, political and government relations, crisis communications, internal communications and most importantly media relations.
The core function of the Public Relations department as mentioned above is to connect with the media. The Public Relations professionals arrange for interviews of key personalities in the organization, pitch success stories of organization to the media and also writing press releases to throw some light into the recent events and achievements of organization. Media attention is essential for the growth of the company as it increases the visibility of the company in the eyes of prospective customers and also prompts the existing clients to build a strong relationship with the company. Public Relations is more than stating facts and information to the news. It’s more about telling right kind of story to the right audience at the right time. This helps in triggering ideas and possibilities in people’s mind and show them how our company is positioned without explicitly telling them. Public relations professionals should concentrate on creating a good relationship with journalists and other media members. A lot of research is required as they have to acquire information of journalist who write about client’s industry and personal interests. Public relations professionals have to approach those journalists who write content related to the story base they have. They should also gain insights into how journalists need story pitches as well as the type of stories they will be interested. It is always better for Public relations professionals to prepare and keep media kit as most of the journalist demand a media kit as a follow-up to the press release. The media kit put insights into information like who the client is and what the client does.
The media kit usually contains the following:
• Company history
• Executive profiles
• Product description along with samples
• Photographs of the events
• Recent press release
• Business card of the Public Relations professional
The Public Relations department also handles the press conferences. Not all news contribute to press conference. Journalists will be interested in press conference if it promises a unique event with exciting visuals, experts and important personalities to preside over the conference. Public Relations professionals see press conference as a way to reach out to all media outlets at stretch be it print, broadcast and web. It is always good to pull a crowd of journalists and Public relations professionals can utilize the natural competitiveness of journalist as one try to outdo the other to form an exciting story.
Public Relations identify target audience and find messages relevant to each audience. As delivery of messages has become more convenient due to the evolution of digital technology, messaging should be carefully handled. Proper messaging ensures that readers will not receive contradictory or confusing information. Five steps have been identified to ensure the effectiveness of online Public Relations.
They are as follows:
• Engagement: Social shares, likes, comments
• Impressions: Viewership of the item
• Items: Contents (blog post, articles, etc.)
Mostly people confuses Public Relations and advertising. In advertising, we have to pay to get our message placed in the media. But, in Public Relations the reporter write about the company based on the information he/she has received or according to the research carried out. Public Relations form the soul of the company in all aspects by trying to enhance the brand image and also maintaining a smooth relation with its target audience.
This article has been authored by Ann Ushus Mathew from IIM Raipur
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