I’m sure you’ve heard of the business department, public relations (PR), right? Not human relations (HR), but public relations, (PR). And what do these public relations specialists actually do?
Some of the largest companies in the United States do not have a public relations department. In fact, most businesses do not ever hire a public relations specialist or public relations agent in there entirety of operations.
Why do some companies hire PR professionals then? Are PR professionals even needed, or are hired for other reasons?
What is Public Relations?
Public relations is the sister of communications and daughter of marketing, (don’t look too much into that analogy). In the sense that public relations is composed of both businesses administration and communications. In the 4 P’s of marketing, public relations falls into the promotion category alongside sales, advertising, sales promotion, etc.
Public relations is how you want your business to be viewed and looked at. Ultimately, the relations that your company directly and indirectly has with the public, that’s public relations.
What do Public Relations Specialists Do?
Many think that people who work in public relations are just there to help a company in a crisis. A “PR crisis”.
Sure, PR professionals help when the media releases news about a business that is unsavory. These workers jump to action to make sure the media has the correct story and version that the business wants to go with. But these professionals do much more that that.
They keep consumers, the public, and employees up to date with what is happening within the company. They may do this with news-releases, blog updates, emails, etc. Public relations specialists deal with all media including TV, internet, radio, etc. coming from inside of the company.
Public relations professionals set up events, deal with advertising, and anything that involves the company. If the company logo is going to be placed on a shirt, website, or anywhere, public relations is all over it.
Do Businesses Actually Need Public Relations?
Absolutely! Businesses run on the premise that consumers will purchase their product or service. This means that businesses need to create the want or need for consumers to purchase your product or service.
If the public looks badly upon your business, very few people will actually purchase your product/service. The want may be there, but all of that goes out the window if people look at your business negatively!
For example, Becky at work has her own business. She sells the absolute best smelling candles you have ever smelled in your life. You would love to buy some, but you hate Becky so much. So much so you do not want to support her and her business.
Consumers will not support your business if you are seen as unfavorable. This is exactly why we need Public Relations specialists.
Are Public Relations Specialists Marketing?
Depending on who you ask, you may get different answers for this question? But those who actually know marketing, will tell you yes.
Yes, public relations is a form of marketing. Public relations is directly involved in marketing communications.
Marketing communications is the Promotion P of the 4 P’s of marketing. Some other professions that fall into the promotion p include sales, advertising, and social media managers.
Public relations representatives are facilitating exchange from the business they represent, to employees and the public.