What is PR?

February 1, 2018

For the vast majority of people, public relations sounds like a buzzword - and it definitely can be, especially when used in a sentence like,


“Public relations is all about leveraging synergies within a company to show that it is a disruptor in the industry and driving value for the end user.”


Image from: http://101fundraising.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/buzzwords-everywhere.jpg 


Um, what? Unless you’re in a corporate office (and even then, its meaning is spotty at best), you probably have no idea what that sentence means.


The foundation of public relations really lies in storytelling and, at an even deeper level, how you communicate your brand to the public.


Most people just don’t connect with numbers and charts.


And the larger the numbers get, the harder they are to understand.


What people do connect with is a story spotlighting someone who is one of those numbers or is affected by those numbers.


Are you more likely to be drawn in to a story talking only about the number of people affected by hunger or by one using an individual’s experience to explain how they grew up without enough food to eat?


My guess is you’ll be more affected by the latter.


Don’t get me wrong - numbers can be very powerful, but they should be a supporting element when telling a story.


So to whom do PR pros tell stories?


While the cornerstone of our job is to serve as the link between the press and a brand, there are so many other facets to our job that are unseen.


Especially when it comes to working with small businesses, PR pros wear many, many hats.


Our job requires us to be creative, quick-thinking, flexible, analytical and incredibly patient - because sometimes media relationships can take time to build into an amazing piece of coverage for our clients.


In addition to media relations, PR also delves into the areas of social media, writing (press releases, blog posts, contributed articles and speeches), influencer endorsement, event and trade show support, employee communications, crisis communications, speaking opportunities and award applications, and so much more.


Even market research can be conducted through a PR team!


By this point, I’m sure you’re wondering, “So it’s exactly like marketing. Is PR marketing?”


While, modern-day PR often blurs the lines of and can be confused with marketing, marketing tends to focus more on paid avenues, such as through the use of ad campaigns or social media advertisements.


At the end of the day, both functions have the ultimate goal of driving interest in a brand or product, but we are two separate prongs of the same fork.


This is my absolute favorite example of how to distinguish between PR and marketing:



The bottom line is - public relations is kind of like a Swiss army knife.


It has many functions, all of which are available, but not necessarily needed for every situation, and each can be utilized independently or combined for one large project.



How do you define PR? Let us know in the comments below!


Ready to learn more about what PR can do for your business? Send us a note.




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