“We don’t buy ads, we don’t write stories for reporters and we don’t come up with catchy phrases to make people buy a product they probably don’t need” – Robert Wynn.
It’s important to understand before you read any further – public relations is NOT the same as advertising and marketing, yes they share the same goals: promoting clients and making them seem successful and exciting, but their tactics are different. Public relations is to do with communication and doing exactly what it says in the title – building a relationship with publics. Public relations is defined as “the professional maintenance of a favourable public image by a company or other organization or famous person.”
How Is It Different To Advertising?
If public relations is not the same as marketing and advertising. Public relations practitioners will often offer their services for free to gain a strong, trustworthy relationship with their stakeholders. Stakeholders can range from customers, employees, investors, stakeholders and the general public – basically anyone that has a link to the company. PR teams aim to create and maintain a certain view about the organization, in order to show its values, views and aims.
A PR practitioner has numerous different roles. They will have at least one of the following responsibilities:
- Designing campaigns
- Writing press releases
- Working with the press
- Writing social media content
- Creating brand awareness
- Writing blog posts
- Social media promotions
- Responses to negative opinions
The Public Relations Society of America defines PR management as “anticipating, analysing and interpreting public opinion, attitudes and issues that might impact for good or ill, the operations of the organization”. Companies should hire PR practitioners when they want to protect and enhance their reputation.
Traditional Public Relations VS Modern Public Relations
Public relations has been around for a long time. Practitioners used to use cable TV, newspapers and the radio to attract and create relationships with their target audiences. However, in the new generation, the use of old media is on the decline, many newspapers are going online, and many companies now use online services instead of brochures and leaflets.
Public relations now is heavily influenced by new technology, such as mobile phones, laptops and tablets. PR practitioners now use social media sites as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube to promote their products and services – however they do it through campaigns that will not only catch the eye, but will form a bond with the audience. This is different to how advertising and marketing practitioners would simply show off their product in an eye-catching way so people will use or buy it.
In the end, public relations is not advertising, marketing, nor just spin — it is about having positive and productive relationships with our stakeholders.