Today, communication professions have become more dynamic. Due to the influence of audience preferences and expectations, PR practitioners in the field must continuously grow or face antiquation. Traditional PR skills, like captivating writing and media relations, will always be valued.
Possibly, they are more important than ever nowadays because of the ruptured media market. However, due to advances in technology, additional skills, such as analytics, SEO, social media content creation, and programming, should match tradition skills. The amalgamation of both modern and traditional skills will help create and explore PR in a tech world.
As we all know, PR significantly falls under communications and marketing; it exists to shape public opinion or change it completely. The information in this post can help the general public understand PR (Public Relations), its types, function, and necessary skills; especially for those who are planning to do a job in this industry.
What is PR(Public Relations)?
PR is all about the convincing audience, to promote your idea, purchase your product or service, support your position, or recognize your accomplishments. PR people can be called as ‘storytellers’; they create narratives to advance their agenda.
A good PR practitioner will analyze the organization to protect, improve, or build reputations via social media, mouth publicity, media, or self-produced communications; as well as find the positive messages to convert them into positive stories. When there is bad news, they can convey the best response and alleviate the loss.
Nowadays, PR professionals do much more than sitting behind a desk faxing out PR. They are said to be the public face of the client on a cable TV news program to answer tough questions. PR professionals play a key role in building relationships with potential investors, as well as to organize community outreach and volunteer programs. 63% of the value of most companies is dependent on their public image; therefore, PR has become a crucial topic today for a number of reasons.
What Is Negative PR?
In negative public relations, sometimes, experts turn business rival’s bad situation in favor of the organization they are working for. They tactfully make use of unfavorable circumstances of competitors for the company’s benefit and publicity. It involves extensive research and information gathering. Negative PR can also be said as dirty tricks, where they concentrate on their organization’s image and ruin the reputation of business rivals.
What Are the Functions of Public Relations?
Are public relations different from advertising? The answer is yes. PR agencies do not buy ads, they do not focus on attractive paid promotions, and they do not write stories for reporters. Instead, they promote the brand by using editorial content showing on newspapers, magazines, news channels, blogs, websites, and TV programs. The information promoted by PR using earned or free media isn’t bought.
What Are the Types of Public Relations?
When it comes to corporations and companies, everyone has an opinion. All the customers, shareholders, media, government, and even the general public can have a take with their opinions. There can be dozens of viewpoints and almost as many types of Public Relations.
Each type of Public Relations has its own purpose, and each one suits a different type of professional. According to the functions of the public relations agencies, there are seven types of PR, which includes:
1) Media Relations:
Build good relations with the media and organization and act as their content source. Media relations is all about dealing with press releases, interview scheduling, giving press conferences, etc. The goal of media relations is to generate positive coverage of your business or your product. Putting it in simple terms, your media should be doing your advertising for free.
2) Investor Relations:
It is all about the release of financial reports and regulatory filings. Handle analysts, investors, events, media queries, and complaints. Investor Public relations provide investors with an accurate account of the company’s affairs. It is present in most medium-to-large public companies. A company’s IR departments are tightly integrated with the accounting department, legal department and the executive management team. Investor relations also has significantly more regulatory requirements than standard public relations, due to financial and legal requirements mandated by the government.
3) Government Relations:
It represents the brand to the government. PR professionals fulfill policies such as fair competition, corporate social responsibility, employee protection, consumer protection, etc. Government relations is defined as a process of influencing public policy at all governance levels – local, regional, national and global.
Here, the aim is to persuade government officials to change or maintain a policy to more effectively fit the needs of a particular group. It’s all about getting the government on your side of the court. Public affairs professionals work to create contacts within the government and other organizations.
4) Community Relations:
Community relations in PR create a positive reputation in the social niche like education, environment protection, etc. They handle the social aspect of the brand. It refers to the various methods companies use to establish & maintain a mutually beneficial relationship with the communities in which they operate.
The main principle of community relations is that when a company actively accepts civic responsibilities, it gains a number of benefits in terms of support from community, loyalty, and goodwill. To be successful in community relations, you need to understand how people in the community act and think. They need to learn how to engage with people – through events, newsletters, etc.
5) Internal Relations:
Internal Public Relations works by cooperating with the employees of the organization during exclusive product launches and events. It also counsels the employees about the course of action, policies, companies and their own responsibility. Internal public relations is a discipline that concentrates on enhancing a company’s relationship with its employees by facilitating good communication amongst the management and employees. While PR involves mass media, internal PR does not. When it comes to internal public relations, the ‘public’ is an organization’s employees or board members.
6) Customer Relations:
Customer Relations work by conducting market research to know more about the attitudes, interests, and priorities of the customers. They also handle relationships with the target market and lead consumers and craft strategies to influence the same using earned media. Consumer PR professionals work towards building connections with customers by creating content that attracts interaction and re-sharing.
Another function of public relations is to get the word out to reliable third-parties which are backing the brand. This can be in the form of a paid agreement where the company can sponsor a particular event or team.
7) Marketing Communications:
Marketing communications is all about to support marketing efforts relating to unique public relation campaigns, product launch, brand awareness, image, and positioning. A marketing communication strategy can work without a budget. It operates by building relationships with journalists where the company or brand can get press coverage, guest posts, and backlinks. Amongst the four Ps of marketing (product, place, price, promotion), marketing communications focus more on the promotion bit.
What is Effective Public Relations?
Public relations is said to be effective only is a PR professional possesses 3As- Awareness, Acceptance, and Action.
- Awareness: To create a good reputation for an organization, it is necessary that the message should reach the public. Information should reach in its desired form for effective public relations.
- Acceptance: The audience should be able to understand what the message or news intends to communicate. They must agree with the message or news.
- Action: The audience should give feedback to the organization accordingly.
What Are the Essential Skills a PR Professional Needs to Have?
Who doesn’t wish to have a good reputation? This is what a public relations professional does. Being trustworthy, upfront, honest, and sticking to your principles in your working life helps expand networks, as well as the quality of work. Obtaining these things in professional life also helps you sleep better at night. Alternating ideas or truths will lower the quality of work a PR professional does. So, it is of utmost essential to stick with the truth to make your mark in the PR world.
2) Research and Knowledge:
In public relations, you need to be up-to-date on the current market trends, latest technology, information about the client’s product or services, and customer’s desire. Further, conducting background research ensures your ability to meet the requirements of your clients without a sweat, and speak with journalists and analysts about your subject matter with ease and confidence.
3) Enhance Your Networks:
The ability to build professional relations is one of the most important things for success in public relations. Building more and more networks with confidence and charisma will complement your oral and written communication skills. It will make you a great PR representative.
In public relations, working on multiple projects at a time will be your everyday task. This includes handling numerous clients with changing requirements and differing deadlines. But, it will be a cherry on the cake, if you can do multitasking in a high-pressure work environment. PR professionals possess a different kind of energy where they thrive and enjoy working in such a fast-paced environment.
Any work it may be, having accuracy is necessary for a successful and long career. Likewise, in PR, it is crucial to keep ever-evolving media demands accuracy and attention to detail. In the PR process, there is constant reviewing and editing in the previously written content for clients, making it necessary to deliver a faultless edit. Because even a single mistake could be the difference between a campaign’s success or failure.
6) Adapt to Change Quickly:
You must be knowing that the landscape of media is continually evolving. People have started consuming media through apps and social media more than ever. As a public relations expert, you should be flexible and adapt to these changes.
7) Strategic Thinking:
Public relations managers must have the ability to think on their feet. Usually, it is tough in meeting journalists and media buyers face-to-face. Strategic thinking helps you get across a client’s brand, run events, make a pitch, and execute campaigns successfully. Excellent strategic thinking comes from vision, place of passion, and knowing the subject matter in detail.
8) Social Media Savviness:
In recent years, the most fundamental change in the PR and media industry is the rise of social media. Being a PR professional, you need to be social media savvy due to social media’s power to measure campaign reach and overall effectiveness. Social media has become a key delivery piece for a client’s campaign to communicate with clients, editors, and media buyers. Becoming a social media savvy can take you to more places in the industry.
9) Improve Writing Skills:
Not only communication skills but writing skills are also very important in the public relations profession. As you are narrative, you should also be able to put down your stories in words to convince your clients. Develop polish skills because the more polished you can write in, the better!
Due to business globalization, the demand for PR professionals has grown, especially those who are bilingual or even multilingual. A PR professional equipped with more languages have more excellent opportunities for international postings. It also offers opportunities to build a diverse professional portfolio.
A career in PR itself is a wide road to countless opportunities to be creative. Creativity here involves not only in terms of writing but also coming up with new ideas to approach new clients and promote businesses. Public relation is a process which constantly calls for fresh ideas and lateral thinking. Therefore, possessing a creative streak can be an essential thing to bring you to career success.
The skills and functions required for a successful career in public relations keep constantly evolving with the change. PR now entails more than simply writing press releases and communicating with journalists. To serve every client well, PR professionals must grasp all the skills mentioned above.
Developing these fundamental skills will prove fruitful in your PR career. Lastly, PR is nothing but an effort to present one’s organization in the best light.