Public Relations are a strategic communication process that companies, individuals, and organizations use to build mutually beneficial relations with the public. This is somewhat of a general definition so, to be more specific, while a Public Relations specialist prepares a specialized communication plan, he uses media and other direct and indirect media to create and maintain a positive brand image and a strong relationship with the public.
Purpose of Public Relations
The main purpose of public relations is to maintain the brand’s positive reputation and develop a strategic relationship with the public, potential customers, partners, investors, employees and other stakeholders. It all leads to a positive brand image and makes it look honest, successful, important and relevant.
Public Relations Functions
Public Relations differ from advertising, which means that public relations agencies don’t buy ads, they don’t write stories for journalists and they don’t focus on attractive paid promotions, but they rather promote the brand using editorial content that appears in magazines, newspapers, news channels, websites, blogs and TV programs.
Types of Public Relations
According to the functions of the department, Public Relations agencies, PR can be divided into 7 types, which are:
1. Media Relations – establishing a good relationship with media organizations and acting as their source of content.
2. Investment Relations – handling events with investors, publishing financial statements and regulatory additions, and dealing with investors, analysts and media issues and grievances.
3. Government Relations – the representation of a government brand in terms of fulfilling policies such as corporate social responsibility, fair competition, consumer protection, employee protection, etc.
4. Community Relations – dealing with the social aspect of the brand and establishing a positive reputation in the social niche such as environmental protection, education and so on.
5. Internal Relations – counselling of employees in the organization regarding the policies, course of action, responsibility of the organization and their responsibility and cooperation with them during special product launches and events.
6. Customer Relationships – handling of relationships with the target market and leading consumers, as well as conducting market research to find out more about the interests, attitudes and priorities of customers and developing strategies to influence them using earned media.
7. Marketing Communications – the support of marketing efforts related to product launches, special campaigns, brand awareness, image and positioning.
PR is about relationships, reputation, influence and behavior change, while PR activity is how you can build and mutual relationships with the people whose opinion you need to influence. All you need to know is that if you need people to think a certain way about your organization, what it is and what it does to encourage them to do “something” then PR is how you do it.
63% of the value of most companies today is made up by public image, which means that when by some mishap the reputation of a company is affected, it also affects the overall corporate existence of the company and its affiliates and usually takes about 4 to 7 years to completely overcome the negative reputation. This is why it is important for a company to invest in good public relations strategies to maintain a good public relations.