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When I Get Asked: What Is PR?

Michelle PrakGuest Post by Michelle Prak. Michelle is a Public Relations Consultant at Prakky J. You can connect with Michelle on LinkedIn or Twitter.

Most businesses are familiar with the concept of advertising and marketing – but public relations can be misunderstood. I still get asked: what is PR?

As a business, you know you need to let your customers (or stakeholders) know what you have to offer. Right?

So you might advertise to let customers know about your products, your prices, and where to buy. Sounds straightforward enough.

Here is where PR comes in. When you’re making your products, you might need to:

  • Gain permission from legislators
  • Inform the local community that you’re setting up shop
  • Attract and keep employees
  • Stay in touch with your suppliers
  • Give back to the community through a philanthropic program
  • Contribute to your industry through support, commentary and lobbying
  • Handle a company crisis
  • Listen to what the community is saying and understand what your future customer might want, the sentiment towards your product, and any issues that are brewing

A public relations professional can take care of all of that.

PR can also support and extend your advertising and marketing campaigns.

Do you have a big advertising spend coming up?
Maybe that new product you’re launching is worthy of a news story. Maybe the public would like to hear about how you came up with it, how it will improve their lives, where the components were sourced and so on. There are a range of PR tactics to help with that.

Do you have a public education campaign happening? Are you taking out advertising to give notice about an upcoming event or to  warn the public about something? Again, PR can help you reach out to the people you’re trying to talk to, using language that is clear to them, in media they frequent.

Today, public relations can also be known as ‘corporate communications’ and other guises. It’s a profession that’s centuries old and well worth considering for your organisation.

Public relations helps with all of the above, and more.