Public relations is the management of a message between an individual or organization and the public.
Describe the different aspects of public relations and its primary functions within the promotional mix
- Public relations is communicated through the media in the form of publicity events, speaking opportunities, press releases including video and audio news releases, newsletters, blogs, social media, press kits, and outbound communication to members of the press.
- The ideal end result of public relations is for the information to serve both the source and the public interest.
- All audiences or publics are stakeholders, groups or individuals that can affect or be affected by the actions of the business as a whole, but not all stakeholders are audiences.
- spin: an effect that colors the truth by selectively presenting facts that support a desired position and can sway public opinion.
- Messaging: to construct a consistent and specific story around a P.R. event or project.
- Public: includes people who look, think, and act the same as well as those who do not.
Public relations is the management of a message between an individual or organization and the public that can be contracted on an hourly, monthly, annual, or “in-house” fee basis. Its primary purpose is to persuade stakeholders to adopt a certain point of view about a project or product. Simply put, public relations manages communication between an organization and the public. It is communicated through the media in the form of publicity events, speaking opportunities, press releases including video and audio news releases, newsletters, blogs, social media, press kits, and outbound communication to members of the press. The media is not paid to publish the information.
There are four core elements to public relations:
- Retain and create goodwill
- First do good, then take credit for it
- Identify and effectively communicate varying points of view and needs to well-defined targets
- It is a planned activity
Who Is the Public?
The public is defined as the totality of a group. The public includes people who look, think, and act the same as well as those who do not. When planning a public relations campaign the marketer should consider who would be most and least likely to interact with the message and what the dialogue would sound like.
What Public Relations Can Do
The response to public relations activities should lend itself to analysis and trending, to predict consequences, to guide executive decisions, and used to trigger planned programs of action. The ideal end results of public relations is for the information to serve both the source and the public interest.
Modern Public Relations
The delivery of public relations messages is shifting from traditional media channels to online media such as social media releases, search engine optimization, content publishing, blogs, microblogs, podcasts, and video. Social media has increased the speed of breaking news and created greater time constraints on response times to current events.
An asymmetrical public relations model allows feedback to flow from the public back to the originating organization, using it as an attempt to persuade the public to change. A symmetrical public relations model means that the organization takes the interests of the public into careful consideration, seeking a balance between the interest of the organization and the public.
The world is in a constant state of change. Communication with an internal as well as external public is essential and has become commonplace with the explosion of one-to-one communication through new technology. Good and bad news travels fast and information goes “viral” with the click of a mouse or tap of a screen.
Effective Public Relations
Depending on the message, some public relations must harmonize with state laws and be reviewed by an attorney to ensure compliance. It must follow a plan of action and aim at goals that are clearly defined. It must be clear to be useful. Its administrators must understand their role and responsibilities. It should build strong relationships and partnerships. Its effectiveness should be measurable with established benchmarks to make sure that the program has achieved the desired goal or objective.
The public relations program’s target audience must be identified so that the message can be tailored to suit them. Sometimes the interests of differing audiences necessitate the creation of several distinct but complementary messages. All audiences or publics are stakeholders, groups or individuals that can affect or be affected by the actions of the business as a whole, but not all stakeholders are audiences.
Messaging constructs a consistent and specific story around a P.R. event or project. It eliminates contradictory or confusing information that will instill doubt in a purchasing choice or other decisions that have an impact on the marketer. Brands aim to have the same problem statement, industry viewpoint, or brand perception shared across sources and mediums.
Spin polishes and colors the truth by selectively presenting facts that support a desired position and can sway public opinion. It is sometimes seen as a derogatory but is commonly used in public relations campaigns.
Negative public relations, also called dark public relations (DPR), is a process of destroying or discrediting. Dirty secrets, misleading facts, or legitimate claims figure heavily into the equation. Its use can be moral and ethical when the information protects or informs the public of danger.
Business Disciplines and Public Relations
- Financial public relations – communicating financial results and business strategy
- Consumer/lifestyle public relations – gaining publicity for a particular product or service
- Crisis Communications – responding in a crisis
- Internal Communications – communicating within the company itself
- Government Relations – engaging government departments to influence public policy