Public Relations Explained
Public relations, or PR for short, is a popular buzzword in the business world, but what does it really entail?
By definition, public relations refers to all the practices that involve managing, transmitting, and receiving information between an organization, a company, or an individual, and the public.
Public relations is a mix of social skills, communication, marketing, and economics. PR professionals specialize in managing public relations between their clients and their intended audiences.
PR works in two ways. First, it cultivates positive reputation and increases trust. Second, it defends against negative reputation campaigns, bad reviews, and libel, as we will see below.
Positive PR and Reputation Management
The most common function of PR is to cultivate positive images. Even the most benevolent company in the world needs PR to be recognized as such.
Public relationship professionals are not mere advertisers. They work to create an image and tell a compelling story in favor of their client. This story must be truthful and highlight their client’s strong points for the public to know.
PR takes effect through all forms of media, including TV, radio, publications, social media, blogs, reviews, testimonials, speaking engagements, events and more.
PR works both ways, as it also helps companies understand what the public thinks of them.
Damage Control and Negative Reputation Management
On the other side of the spectrum, PR can also help repair damaged reputation and counter defamation by competitors.
PR disasters are bound to happen as a company grows. Some of these disasters are completely preventable through good PR practices, but others are completely random and out of control. For example, if a competitor decides to publish several fake reviews that criticize your business, how will you respond?
The solution here is negative reputation management. A PR expert can identify the issue and take the appropriate steps to counter such attacks.
In the end, PR works to protect and enhance the reputation of an organization. The extent to which PR is efficient often defines the future growth of that organization.