One of the elements of marketing communications is public relations. Are you able to answer the question, What Is Public Relations?
One Definition of Public Relations
“Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
If you weren’t around back then, or don’t know, there were ongoing discussions about what this definition meant. I’m not opening that debate again. I am just sharing what is considered the official definition as it currently stands, and give us a base.
What Is Public Relations?
Public Relations (PR) is the practice of sharing information from a business/organization to the public or target audience. It’s gaining exposure without paying for it, as you would with an advertisement. The goal is to inform the public, prospective customers, investors, partners, employees, and other stakeholders, and persuade them to have a certain view about the organization, its leadership, or products.
PR is what we call Earned Media. As shared by Gini Dietrich, earned media is what you know as either publicity or media relations. It’s getting your name in print. It’s having a newspaper or trade publication write about you. It’s appearing on the noon news to talk about your product. It’s what the PR industry is typically known for, because it’s one of the few tangible things done.
Earned media is part of the PESO model, which we’ll talk about in detail in another post. (PESO stands for the four media types: paid, earned, shared, and owned media.)
What Public Relations Is Not
PR is not spin. We do not make up stories, or spin the facts/elements of a story.
It is unfortunate that the PR is perceived that way. It’s even more unfortunate that a few bad apples, so to speak, have given the industry a reputation as spin doctors.
There are so many wonderful, fabulous, and ethical PR practitioners out there. They do excellent, quality work, and are going to do the right thing. That is the type of practitioner you want working with you and your organization.
How Does PR Fit With Marketing Communications?
PR is an element of marketing communications. I regularly include PR efforts in my marcomm plan for a client. It’s about being thorough, and ensuring I’ve put together the best integrated marketing communications strategy for the organization. This will dovetail into our PESO discussion down the road.
What do you think about public relations? Let me know!