Your all-in-one guide to understanding the role of public relations
Everyone is familiar with the term public relations. Most people can give their own interpretation of what it means. The Public Relations Society of America defines PR as a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.
Unfortunately, in most cases, the role of public relations is misunderstood. Here are five of the most common myths about PR:
- PR is marketing.
Public relations and marketing are often used together to enhance a client’s brand. However, they are not the same thing. The main difference is about the final goal. Marketing aims to sell a product or service, while public relations builds mutually beneficial relationships with key audiences. Public relations creates an environment that fosters marketing efforts.
- PR is only for working with the media.
Many people associate PR with press releases and organizing news conferences. It’s true that PR professionals write and strategically distribute SEO-optimized news releases as well as build relationships with media representatives. However, that’s just a small fraction of what they do. PR connects your brand with your target audience, so that both your company and your audience benefit.
- PR is old school.
PR started with old tactics back in the day. Now it’s all about new tools and technology. No other field utilizes media channels, social media in particular, to connect to key audiences, deliver key messages and measure impact as much as PR does.
- PR is all about spin and propaganda.
Spinning means providing a biased interpretation of a story to persuade your public. What PR professionals do is share accurate information about clients and their stories. They deliver strategic messages that are the most critical communications points. This is not spinning. It’s developing the priority of key messages so that audiences can easily understand the information.
- You can’t measure PR results.
It is entirely possible to set up benchmarks and quantify your PR results to measure your success. Media placements and social media statistics are two examples of how you can measure your PR campaign results.
Understanding the role of public relations will help you build a better and more effective PR campaign to achieve your business objectives. Axia Public Relations’ guide Maximizing Your Public Relations Investment can help you get started.
Yulia Dianova is a public relations professional who is skilled in building relationships with target audiences. She provides counsel to organizations that seek PR help to further their growth and reach their goals. Yulia earned a master’s degree in public relations management from University of Maryland University College. She is fluent in Russian and English and is always looking for a new challenge. Yulia has worked for Axia Public Relations since July 2015. Learn more about Yulia Dianova. Connect with Axia on Twitter @axiapr or tell us what you think in the comments below.
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