Public Relations (PR) is a very common term. But still, then, most people have some common misconception when it comes to understanding PR and its functions. Many people assume that the role of a Public Relations Company is to make their clients look good in front of the public even if it means lying. That’s why they tag PR people as a bunch of liars. That is far from the truth.
PR companies also called PR firms or PR agencies are tasked with managing their client’s reputations. While that does include dealing with bad press, it doesn’t mean a well-renowned PR company will spin tales to maintain their client’s good image. But some undignified people in PR will go to any length to save their client, even if it leads to conducting unfair means. Let’s not indulge in the morality of people in PR and focus on PR Company itself.
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Public Relations Company
History of Public Relations
Everything evolves with time, PR companies are no different. In an earlier age, PR’s main focus was on the print media as it was the primary source of narrating a public image. PR was solely focused on creating brand awareness for the clients by ensuring more media coverage, published articles and staying on the good side of editors.
Face-to-face meetings with editors to pitch print-worthy ideas and news were a daily occurrence. PR’s job was to get the client the awareness they wanted by pursuing some major publication to print about their client.
With the digital age, PR also had to balance both ways. Printing media is less dominating than before because of online news portals, journals, magazines, etc. Many major publications are focusing more on their online portals than on print editions. Because of this major shift in our lifestyle, Public Relations Company is a little less concerned about creating brand awareness by pursuing editors to secure a column for their client.
Now PR’s are also focused on engaging with digital publication houses and even getting into the world of social media. PR companies and agencies themselves use the gift of modern technology to connect with the clients online. But that doesn’t mean that traditional media is valueless. Both social and traditional media can help a PR company to promote their client.
Traditional Media and Social Media
In this era of modern technology and a dominating world of social media, some people might disregard the traditional media that has been around for eons. You cannot treat both as equals. The article you’d publish in a newspaper should be different than what you’ll post on Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.
In the social media world, people are more focused on juicy titles than two-three page articles. PR companies use different content and approach to these different fields. You cannot tweet the entire press release of your company, you must publish that in the local newspaper. Take some interesting quotes from your announcement to post on the social network. Treat both media forms as they are, differently.
PR vs. Advertising
The concept of Public Relations and Advertising might seem similar as both of these focuses on creating a brand image for their clients and build better communication to the outside world. The main difference is that advertising is a paid facility.
You pay the money to people who will say whatever you’ll ask them to say about your business. But PR is the publicity that is earned by what your company did, what you achieved through your work. Advertising focuses on getting exposure whereas PR focuses on building trust with the media and public.
Advertising companies work on making your business more eye-catching through flashy posts and they get paid for it. Which is why they are more expensive than PR. On the other hand, PR companies make sure that their clients get the recognition they deserve for their work.
You don’t have to pay them to create flashy posts, banners or videos about your business. PR will get you the media coverage you earned by charging you a monthly fee or you can hire them for your specific tasks.
Public Relations Company: Functions
Functions of a PR company include:
- Being a spokesperson for the client
- Training the clients on how to deal with the media
- Planning seminars, events, press conferences for the clients
- Writing and monitoring articles, posts, press releases
- Monitoring media activities
- Counteracting the negative publicity
- Reaching out to the target audience or consumer group
- Providing the media with information that can benefit the client
- Promoting on social media
- Dealing with crisis
PR means persuasion. PR Company is tasked with the job of convincing people to purchase the product or receive the service by their client while protecting their client’s brand image.
The communication between the PR Company and their client should be as clear as they come. The client should paint a clear picture of what they want their audience to see and PR should take their client’s wishes into account and build their strategy around that picture. A good PR company will make sure the client receives as much recognition as possible by analyzing the organization and bringing out the positive side.
In conclusion, if you want your business reputation to be protected and enhanced, you must consult or hire a public relations company to work for you. The job of a public relations company is to build a clear communication between an organization and its audience to create a relationship among them that can prove beneficial for both parties.
PR takes the good aspects of a company to present those aspects positively and acceptably to the public. If there are some bad aspects involved, the best way to reduce the damage is to accept the blame and a promise to overcome them.