What Is PR and How Can It Help?

The public relations profession dates back to the early 20th century, and since has been defined in many different ways, evolving alongside changing roles and technical advances.

As defined by the Public Relations Society of America, public relations influences, engages and builds relationships with key stakeholders across a myriad of platforms in order to shape and frame the public perception of an organization.

In simple terms: we help communicate to motivate.

Communications counselors get to know their clients and how they operate. In turn, they help effectively communicate with the right audiences. Many businesses may be great at what they do, but they have a hard time communicating effectively.

Skilled PR professionals develop ethical and sound strategies, across a wide variety of communication platforms, which bring organizational stories to life. Some of these tools include:

  • Strategic messaging
  • Crisis communications
  • Internal communications
  • Media relations
  • Social media engagement
  • Reputation management
  • Speechwriting
  • Special events

PR can get confused with our industry peers in related marketing professions, such as advertising or traditional journalism. While there is some overlap, for the most part, each discipline is distinct.

On a macro level, marketing is the process of researching, promoting, distributing and selling products or services. Public Relations plays an essential role in these processes by creating the right message, determining the right audiences to reach and building awareness.

PR relies on earned, unpaid, third-party endorsement. We cultivate relationships with reporters and influencers to communicate information that, may raise awareness of services or products that can prevent injury or improve health; encourage trial of a new product; or generate support for a worthy cause.

As a business or organization, ask yourself: Is what you are saying being heard? Are your audiences compelled to be loyal or take action? If not, PR may be able to help you effectively communicate to a more engaged audience.

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