“If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on Public Relations” – Bill Gates
When anyone hears that I work in the PR industry, the first question that rises out of the blue – So, like what do you do? What is “PR”?
Very few people can explain what people working in the public relations industry do. If you are a teacher or an accountant, everyone knows your job function. But, that’s not the same scenario with our PR field.
So, once I start explaining, I get cut in the middle of my talk, so you guys do advertising, right?
It is a whole different story and here, I’ll highlight the major roles we play as PR professionals.
So, let’s start by defining what is PR.
“Public Relations is about reputation - the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you.
Public Relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behavior. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organization and its publics” – Chartered Institute of Public Relations
Every business and organization regardless of their size ultimately depend on their reputation for both their success and survival. Perceptions of your employees, clients, partners, journalists, etc can have a huge impact on your business. It can drive decisions about whether or not to partner/work or even support your business/organization.
This is where we come. We as PR professionals maintain mutual relations and understandings between a business and the public and media. We improve channels of communication and develop new ways of setting up a two-flow way of information and understanding.
Some of the services PR cover include but are not limited to:
· Media relations
· Guest relations
· Investor relations
· Community relations
· Internal Relations
· Reputation Management
· Crisis Management
· Content Creation
· CSR development
· Corporate events management
Long story short and to highlight the difference between PR and Advertising in just few words – It is paid vs unpaid, earned vs purchased, credible vs skeptical.
Advertising is paid media, whereas PR is earned media.
“Advertising is what you pay for, publicity is what you pray for” - Helen Woodward