What is PR?
Looking at a textbook definition of public relations may be the most helpful tool to come to terms with what exactly PR is , The Chartered institute of public relations have defined public relations to be “the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour.” However to narrow it down, the definition of public relations really is what it says on the tin …
PUBLIC – the people
RELATIONS– the relationship between people.
As the definition states, that public relations is down to the people and the relationship with the people. So, if a business has “bad” PR the relationship with the people will be negative. Whereas if the business has “good” PR the relationship with the people will be positive.
Now that we have come to an understanding on the definition of what public relations is…
Why exactly is it so important for a business to have good public relations?
Good PR can do numerous things for a business, the top things good PR can potentially do are:
- Credibility – Being recognised for having good PR and doing the right things builds credibility and trust between the business and the public. Being viewed as credible is just as effective as advertising. Being viewed as a credible business can, in result, potentially increase profit for the business.
- Customers – If a business is noticeably doing new and exciting things this builds a good reputation for them which attracts new customers. New customers will positively increase the popularity of the business as well as increasing the profit. A business won’t survive without customers, so this is why it is so important for good pr. Good PR = Customers.
- Planning – Having good public relation’s won’t be carried out without effective and structured planning. With this planning it will decrease the chances of things going wrong and when things go wrong for a business it can be expensive… mistakes cost A LOT.
So now, we understand the benefits of a business having good PR, but how do they get there?
It’s no easy road for a business to succeed in the world of good PR, However, It is essential for a business who are serious about building and wanting to achieve good PR to create and implement a good, well-structured and detailed public relations strategy. This strategy should include:
- Define their aims and objects – what do they want achieve from this strategy?
- Analyse their current situation – Where are the currently positioned? What are their strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats?
- Identify their key publics – who exactly are they targeting at?
- Key messages – what message do they want to deliver to the public?
- Budget – how much are they willing to spend if anything?
- Timeline – when do they want to execute this strategy?
- Tactics – what exactly are they going to do to attract new customers?
If a business create and execute a carefully detailed public relations strategy, this can increase their chances of achieving good PR, compared to a business who doesn’t plan. A business may have a plan of what they want to achieve but without planning, this plan will not be achieved.
The most noticeable result for a business having good PR is customers as customers bring profit, and profit is the main driving force behind every single business as without profit, it’s not very likely that the business will survive. However, business’ need to be patient as they may struggle to receive profit and increase their revenue without putting PR first, and good PR at that. It is so important for a business to focus and strategically work on nailing their PR.
Once a business starts to focus on their PR, then the profit will come.
Cipr.co.uk. 2020. About PR. [online] Available at: <https://www.cipr.co.uk/CIPR/About_Us/About_PR.aspx?WebsiteKey=0379ffac-bc76-433c-9a94-56a04331bf64> [Accessed 20 November 2020].
Naomi Finnegan is a final year BSc in Communication Management and Public Relations student at Ulster University. She can be found on LinkedIn.