Very few people can correctly explain what PR agents do or how the industry runs. In fact, people who start working in the industry also take a significant time before fully grasping PR and the critical role of PR agencies.
Most assume PR agencies buy advertisements and pay prominent personalities to discuss products and businesses. But the general idea of PR is far from the truth. While public relations firms do promote their clients, PR agents generate goodwill for the company in the market.
Continue reading this piece to learn about the 5 essential things about PR everyone should know.
What You Should Know About PR
Even if you don’t have a passing interest in PR, understanding it offers unique insight into how firms work. And even if you don’t want to learn much about PR, here are five things that you should absolutely know about.
- What Public Relations Is
PR refers to a method of strategic communication, according to PRSA (Public Relations Society of America). It helps build mutually beneficial connections between an organization and its targeted audience. Public Relations or PR relates to a discipline set to develop and manage campaigns and generate goodwill.
As such, the PR industry helps portray an organization in a positive light. Without public relations, companies and businesses wouldn’t be able to show their accomplishments to the public.
In the term public relations, the ‘public’ refers to the types of people included in the audience of most PR clients. In simpler words, an organization’s cater to is its customer, client, or consumer. A business’ public can include people of a specific age group or even stakeholders in the industry.
On the other hand, PR clients may include individuals, non-government organizations, non-profit organizations, or companies. These entities require PR techniques and campaigns to improve their among their target audience.
- Public Relations is Measurable
It is possible for different companies to measure PR. Public relations firms can use several methods and techniques to measure data and estimate the progress of their efforts. That said, there is no specific rule that an agency or PR agent needs to follow when measuring public relations.
Many from the PR industry might disagree with the idea of measuring PR. After all, determining whether you’re using the right techniques is not easy. Nevertheless, public relations firms can often make fairly accurate estimates.
Although some ways of measuring PR can be a little impractical, others can be very promising. Popular methods include content analysis, press clippings, media impressions, market surveys, website traffic, social media mentions, and lead sourcing.
- News in PR
PR agencies understand that the news they put out needs to include information that is new or unknown.
Getting a news story out on time can make all of the difference, since trends can lose steam in a matter of days, weeks, or even months. In other words, breaking the news to the audience on time is critical for excellent public relations. Waiting for more than two weeks before releasing a story can make companies miss their opportunities that could otherwise improve their public image.
Similarly, what a PR client may find news, might not be news to the media. For example, a CEO’s participation in a critical event in the industry may hold significant importance for the organization. But the organization’s audience might not understand the hype if created.
News has two aspects of public relations: creating a story and following it. An organization can use these two aspects to determine whether a piece of information is newsworthy to the media and audience.
- Public Relations Is Not the Same as Advertising
People often interchange the terms PR and advertising, despite both of them being very distinct.
Of course, PR and advertising have similarities, but they’re not interchangeable. Successful PR, marketing, and advertising campaigns help companies keep their image and brand relevant.
That said, people confuse advertising and public relations too often. The significant difference between advertising and public relations is that while companies pay for one, they have to earn the other.
As the old saying goes, “advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for.” In particular, advertising refers to paid media, whereas PR earns publicity without paying the media. So even though companies can pay for advertising campaigns, they might not be able to earn the good publicity through advertisement alone. It also requires a major investment of money and time yet doesn’t have any specific results.
Furthermore, companies can specifically choose or curate their advertising efforts to consumers, deciding what they will see or hear. For example, you can’t help but consume advertising media such as TV commercials or ads on social media platforms.
On the other hand, the public relations industry focuses on building a foundation for publicity. It creates awareness and a general understanding of the organization, as well as its products or services.
- Most Industries Require PR
Most of the time, companies can choose between different forms of marketing according to their service niche and target audience. Whether or not you want to advertise your brand, product, or service is also entirely the business’ choice.
In simpler terms, many companies in several industries can perform just as well without marketing and advertising. Public relations is different as it plays a significant role in helping businesses succeed. After all, a brand’s public image and reputation possess the power to make or break a business.
Often, companies face huge losses during a PR crisis due to negative online perceptions of their product or service. As such, most industries require effective PR strategies to maintain their brand’s image.
PR agencies use various story-telling techniques to build a firm foundation for their brand’s image. Doing so helps PR clients enhance their company’s reputation in front of the audience. If you need help improving your brand image through the latest PR techniques, you should hire a public relations firms Chicago accordingly.