PR, short for “public relations,” is the strategic communication from an organization to the public to maintain or cultivate a public image and respond to public discourse.
“Public relations is the strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
– Public relations society of America
If public relations bridges relationships, then public relations professionals are the bridge builders. Let’s talk about them a little more broadly:
Who are PR Professionals?
PR professionals are people whose expertise lies in communicating with various people on behalf of their organizations.
PR experts are in charge of creating and executing PR strategies, help an organization nurture a positive reputation through various unpaid or earned media channels and formats(including press, social media, and internal relations).
PR professionals and agencies build, maintain, and repair brand reputations/images by managing crises that threaten their clients’ credibility.
In short, PR experts are storytellers. They create narratives and strategies to sell their agenda. A good PR professional will analyze the organization, find the right message and translate that into positive narratives for the public.
Tools Used in Public Relations Include:
- Writing and releasing press releases
- Speech writing
- Writing PR pitches
- Organizing PR events for both public and media relations.
- Conducting market research
- Crisis management strategies
- Expanding brand reach through networking
- Creating and executing social media campaigns and more
7 Types of Public Relations
There are many viewpoints and types when it comes to PR. Each type has its design purpose, and each type suits a different type of expert.
Here are the seven types :
Every action that a PR professional undertakes essentially falls under strategic communication. This means all PR strategies are coordinated to help a company achieve its business objectives.
This calls for a PR practitioner to understand their organization’s objectives and priorities. All activities done should support these priorities.
Media relations is all about working closely with the media – Writing press releases, scheduling interviews, press conferences, and all. The main objective is to generate positive coverage of your company or your product by reaching your most desired and important audiences.
Journalists and media need a steady and consistent stream of news, so creating compelling stories for the media that involve your organization’s work and giving it to them is a win-win situation.
Community engagement officers aim at developing an organization’s relationship with the local and global community.
Reasons for engaging in community relations include:
- Obtaining local support for a project.
- “Giving back” to the community for the support they show.
- Command the attention of the community for a product or service.
To be a thriving community engagement officer, you need to learn and fully understand how the community thinks, acts, and responds to certain things.
You can get all this information by surveying how people respond when you run events, visit schools, or sending out surveys.
Good listening skills and the ability to coordinate events are vital for this.
Also known as internal PR, internal communications give employees a positive view of their company. The goal is to keep them motivated, satisfied, and loyal.
Employees can be a company’s biggest asset, so engaging them and making sure they are working in a conducive environment is crucial for the overall success of an organization.
Employee relations can include developing programs to keep staff engaged and informed while addressing their needs and concerns. Internal communications are considered the most sensitive form of PR, as it’s based less on image and more on the action.
Companies and organizations tend to consider PR when there’s a crisis, but it shouldn’t be the case. Crisis management is the PR you employ when a disaster strikes; it could be a service gone wrong, a CEO involved in a scandal, a client accusing the organization of wrongdoing, it could be anything that makes people question your credibility.
When crises are not handled quickly, they can ruin an organization’s reputation so severely. Crisis managers are sharp thinkers who know how to manage an issue as quickly as possible. They have planned clear crisis management plans in place.
Crisis managers know how to manage teams and delegate tasks, understand media relation policies and know which crisis strategies are effective for each kind of situation.
Public affairs can also be referred to as lobbying. This involves building and developing relationships between an organization and politicians, government, or any other decision-makers.
Public affair is a crucial aspect of PR; having these political relations can ease enacting legislative change. Organizations can receive assistance such as regulatory compliance, corporate communication, trade associations, etc.
Social Media and Online Communications
In todays fast-paced environment, businesses need to have a solid online presence. There are so many organizations and companies that provide services, so you need to stand out.
Potential customers are using the web to do their research before they conclude about a product or service. So, online PR is vital in generating leads, building brand relationships with blogs and social media, and attracting new talent.
Both PR pros and organizations must choose the best social media platforms and other digital channels to achieve their objectives.
Types of PR Job Titles
When it comes to companies and organizations, everyone has an opinion – you will find many job titles attached to the various roles performed in this spectrum.
Here is a list of PR Job titles in the field:
- Brand Ambassador
- Content Manager
- Copy Writer
- Director of Public Affairs
- Director of Public Relations
- Event Coordinator, Manager
- Manager, Digital and Social Media
- Managing Editor
- Program Coordinator
- Public Affairs Manager, Specialist
- Public Information Officer, specialist
- Public Relations Coordinator, director, manager, specialist
- Media director
- Relationship Manager
- Social Media Analyst, manager, specialist
- Technical Writer
Public relations offers many opportunities that are broken down into endless types and categories. However, there are PR skills required across the field for PR professionals.
Public relation is a competitive field, and prior experience in PR, communications, and related fields is highly desirable. To be successful at PR, you have to work hard, put in the hours, and reap the rewards in the end.