You’ve probably been told public relations (PR) is important to businesses and individuals, but what actually is it?
There seems to be this smoke and mirrors mood around it, like it’s some sort of dark art, writes Eve Communications’ content manager Chloe Dunne.
I’ll be honest – before I started working at Eve Communications I didn’t know either.
Good PR can help a business or individual cultivate a positive reputation. It can build loyalty from your customers, drive sales, increase engagement with your company, or prevent a crisis.
There’s a variety of tools which can be used:
- Press releases
- Feature articles
- Social media content and campaigns
- Market research
So PR is the same as advertising? Not quite.
There’s an old saying: “Advertising is what you pay for; publicity is what you pray for.”
Although both advertising and PR share some common goals, there’s a big difference between the two. Advertising is paid media, public relations is earned on its own merit.
This means rather than paying a magazine to print something you have creative, you have to come at it from a different angle – to identify what would be newsworthy and interesting, then speak to editors to cover your story.
If you’re successful the story will feature as editorial rather than paid advertising and will gain more credibility because it was verified by a trusted third party, rather than being bought.
The aim is to drive traffic and engagement, but PR also nurtures a sustainable relationship with the consumer which pays greater dividends in the long run.
|Earned media – persuade media to publish||Paid media – pay media to publish|
|Builds trust||Builds exposure|
|Trusted third party validation||No validation|
|High reliance upon language||High reliance upon visual|
|Media controls final version||Complete creative control|
|Higher cost||Lower cost|
|“Buy this product”||“This is important”|
As well as proactively spreading positive messages, PR can also be engaged to help prevent and mitigate bad publicity which may harm your brand reputation.
Crises can happen in any industry, and knowing the correct way to communicate with your audience is vital.
Key PR tips include:
- Act fast, and be knowledgeable
- Use the correct language
- Engage with the right contacts
- Get professional advice
An added bonus is that utilising an effective PR policy beforehand helps to strengthen relationships with your audience which can make it easier to reach out and rebuild trust both during and after a crisis.
Don’t forget you can check out some of the examples of PR in action with our client case studies or get in touch with the team to discuss any questions you may have.