Public relations is often confused with marketing in the business world. However, while the two may be similar and have comparable objectives, there are several distinctions that set them apart. Often handled by the same individual or department in a company, public relations and marketing usually go hand-in-hand. One strengthens the other, making them both more effective and beneficial to company leaders. Public relations is just as vital as marketing, and management-level employers should take it seriously.
What is public relations?
To determine whether public relations, or PR, is important for the success of your company, you must first understand the purpose and goals of the practice. Through good public relations and problem-solving, PR professionals focus on building a brand for your company as well as keeping the company’s image unsullied.
Some activities that a PR department may handle are as follows:
Press release writing
Internal communication, such as company newsletters
Speech writing and booking
Award entry and nominations
As you can see, public relations professionals’ No. 1 priority is to build and protect the image of a company. They do this by building beneficial and lasting relationships with other companies and professionals in their area, including news reporters, magazine editors and politicians.
How is public relations different from marketing?
While PR focuses on relationships, marketing generally focuses on making sales. For example, a marketing professional might send out postcards offering free or discounted services, while a public relations professional might send out “Welcome to the neighborhood” cards that include helpful information about the community. Combining the efforts of public relations and marketing yields a much higher success rate than if one were implemented without the other.
Why does your company need public relations?
As the CEO or manager of your company, you have a lot on your plate. Trying specifically to make a name for your company in the community is most likely not on the top of your priority list, even though it is vital to your survival and success. Maintaining a clean image makes potential customers feel at ease about working with you. Building community relationships often leads to increased sales because customers want to work with people they know and respect. For both of these reasons, it is important to have a public relations professional available to you, whether you create a department within your company to handle these responsibilities or hire an external PR firm. Either way, you will not regret the decision to integrate public relations practices into your company’s everyday routine.
(Courtesy – Axia )