Marketing communication is important because it impacts whether or not potential consumers identify, like, and believe you, your image is critical to brand awareness. When a brand’s impact is restricted, public relations plays an important role in the conversation.
Related: What is PR Leverage?
What Is Public Relations, Exactly?
The word “public relations” refers to a company’s strategic marketing communication in order to preserve or improve its public image and respond to popular discourse.
It’s difficult to define public relations as a career. The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) received hundreds of applications in 2012 before deciding on one:
So, how can a corporation transform a positive public connection into favorable press? Is it true that you’re “praying” for something if you’re using a strategic technique to get results through marketing communication, as the old expression goes?
If public relations is a connection in that relationship, public relations experts are the bridge builders. Let’s take a closer look at each of them:
Related: What is a buyer persona?
What Is A Public Relations Professional, Exactly?
A public relations practitioner is in charge of creating and implementing a public relations strategy, which entails assisting a company or individual in cultivating a positive reputation through various unpaid or earned channels and layouts, such as the media, social media, and in-person involvement through marketing communication. They also help clients defend their standing in the case of a crisis that threatens their credibility.
To understand this, you must first learn about the two sides of public relations: positive narrative and negative damage control.
Working Public Relations
Assume that a business is worried about its image. It will most likely invest in favorable public relations in that situation. A public relations professional ensures that a company’s reputation, idea, brand, stance, or accomplishments are accurately represented in marketing communication.
Public relations professionals may be looked at as storytellers in certain respects.
Unlike advertisers, who use paid media to tell their story, public relations professionals employ unpaid or earned media to tell theirs.
Unpaid or earned opportunities include the following:
- Press and information
- Communication with the media
- Social media speaking engagements
Please keep in mind that a public relations professional makes an effort to reach out to everyone, not only paying consumers.
A Good Example Of Public Relations
Assume you work for a small interior design business that just received a “Best Interior Design Firm in Chicago” award. To get the message out to the broader public, a public relations professional can issue a press release and seek out reporters to write a story about the accomplishment.
The public relations professional is also supporting the public in acquiring crucial information about the prize and helping an interior design business establish a reputable reputation through marketing communication. This announcement may be useful to me if I’m looking for an interior decorator.
There is also such a thing as government public relations. Public relations professionals can help run election candidates or explain a government’s new policies to the public. You can see how public relations professionals try to maintain a constructive and healthy relationship between their customers (the state) and the general public, who have a right to be informed about new regulations.
Damage Control in Public Relations (Negative Public Relations)
Public relations isn’t all about happy endings. It’s also used to avoid any potential damage to a client’s reputation.
The function of a public relations expert is to advise a company on how to proceed if public discourse surrounding a certain brand takes on a bad tone, which can occur as a consequence of unfavorable press or news.
After all, if people are talking about something, a company should respond with its side of the story.
However, how they respond will have an impact on how the public perceives them. It might exacerbate the problem if done poorly.
One Example Of Damage Management In PR
In the early 1980s, an unknown perpetrator poisoned numerous bottles of Johnson & Johnson’s Tylenol with cyanide, killing seven people. It caused widespread alarm and may have resulted in Tylenol products being discontinued.
To mitigate the harm, Johnson & Johnson used strong public relations tactics. To begin, it took most of its Tylenol pills off the shelf and issued a statewide statement warning people not to purchase or use Tylenol. After that, the business created a new tamper-resistant seal and dispatched 2,000 sales professionals to make presentations to the healthcare sector with proper marketing communication in order to promote the new, safer Tylenol bottles.
Because of this great public relations operation, Johnson & Johnson’s name and commodities were saved; in fact, Tylenol stock climbed back to 24 percent just six weeks after the cyanide accident.This is an example of a marketing communication.
Johnson & Johnson could not have succeeded with a basic advertising campaign. Instead, public relations was required: public relations professionals were able to create a story depicting Johnson & Johnson as a company that puts consumers first. Along with safeguarding Johnson & Johnson’s image, [public relations] marketing communication was used to prevent more people from swallowing cyanide-laced Tylenol and to inform the public that Tylenol was safe once again.
As a Crucial Marketing Tool, Public Relations
As these examples demonstrate, public relations professionals are capable of coping with a wide range of positive and negative events through marketing communication. To maintain a favorable connection between the public and the client, they must address these incidents. PR professionals assist the public understand the organization’s goals by arranging activities such as fundraisers and networking events, in addition to advising the corporation on the best policy decisions or actions to take
Public relations and marketing communication isn’t just used to influence a story’s result; it’s also used to produce the story in the first place.