Why companies and brands need PR and what it is
We live in a time when the information space is full of different messages. There are so many of them that sometimes we perceive the next news as information noise. A person is able to perceive, understand and use only a tiny fraction of all messages coming from social networks, television, media, or native advertising. It is becoming increasingly difficult for large companies or brands to deliver individual messages to their audiences and to communicate with them for a long time. However, effective communication, image maintenance, and reputation management are essential for companies. It is estimated that the corporate image is about 63% of the value of most corporations. Therefore, more and more companies and brands use PR in their activities. Public relations or PR involves creating special communication strategies that help customers build their reputation, generate sales, and achieve business goals.
Let’s take a closer look at what PR is
PR (public relations) is an abbreviation of the English “public relations”, which means “public relations”. PR is the practice of purposefully managing and disseminating information between an individual or organization, such as a business, government agency, or nonprofit organization, and the public.
The purpose of PR is to inform the public about a brand or company, potential customers, investors, partners, employees, and other stakeholders. Forming a loyal attitude to the company through effective communication.
PR is about: Persuasion: You can persuade the audience to spread your idea or message, buy your product or service, maintain a position, or acknowledge your achievements. A strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between companies and the public. Protect, improve or build your reputation through the media, social networks, or your own sites. What includes PR:
- writing and distributing press releases;
- writing speeches;
- writing presentation materials;
- Creating and conducting special events for working with the public and working with the media;
- expanding business contacts through personal acquaintances;
- sponsorship of various events;
- Writing articles and blogging;
- writing anti-crisis pr-strategies;
- social media promotion;
- Responses to negative messages about companies.
Where PR comes from
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, there was a growing interest in the social and behavioral characteristics that govern the public and public opinion. An important role was played by the emergence of sociological research methods, in particular opinion polls, which allowed to qualitatively and quantitatively assess public opinion on a particular issue. For the first time, PR was widely used in the United States in the political sphere. During the American Revolutionary War (1775–1783), American revolutionaries used the PR tools commonly used today: symbols, slogans, and the promotion of important topics in the media. The next area for PR was the presidential campaign: in the early nineteenth century, for the first time in the election staff was included a press secretary. The need for public support for the candidates to make the presidential campaign a success was recognized. In the commercial world, the first to use PR to influence their customers were banks, later large conglomerates adopted the practice and began to create their own PR departments. At the turn of the century, private PR consultants began to appear, mostly satisfying the interests of the private sector and helping them protect themselves from mackerel journalists who made sensational revelations. Their clients included railroads, telecommunications companies, and groups interested in lobbying other states and federal governments. By the 1930s, commercial and nonprofit organizations, as well as government agencies, were increasingly implementing PR strategies. The power of public relations grew due to the expansion of the newspaper industry and the launch of commercial radio. Techniques used in public relations gradually became more complex, primarily due to social research. They helped to divide the population into groups with certain characteristics and made it possible to specifically target communications. Increasingly, images were combined with words and symbols to add emotional appeal to rational arguments. The earliest definitions of PR focused on press and publicity agencies, while modern definitions pay special attention to involvement and building relationships through communication. For example, in 1982, PRSA published the following definition of PR: “PR is what helps an organization and its community adapt to each other.” A few decades later, a new, more relevant definition was developed: “PR is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their audiences.”
What else does PR include in the modern sense
Let’s understand the points:
- Anticipate, analyze, and interpret public opinion, views, and issues that may affect a company’s or brand’s plans.
- Advise management at all levels of the company on decisions, action plans, and communications, including crisis communication.
- Protect your company or brand reputation.
- Study, conduct and evaluate communication actions to achieve the public understanding necessary to successfully achieve the company’s goals.
- Goal setting, planning, budget approval, promotion, recruitment and training of company employees, and management of resources needed to accomplish all of the above.
- Control content creation and leads.
About modern PR agencies and what they do
A PR agency is a set of structural units that solve problems of interaction between the company and the public, enhance the image through the study of public opinion, and the successful implementation of well-thought-out communications. The PR agency is also approached to raise public awareness of the brand, and improve or protect its reputation. In addition, the activities of the agency can be aimed at attracting audiences, highlighting the corporate or social responsibility of the company, and improving or developing a personal brand first person. Perfect PR Agency implements communication solutions in the private, public, and public sectors. During the work of the agency +5272 was realized PR materials, +72 PR strategies, and +823 media events. Agency services include political, commercial, and personal PR, development of PR strategies, PR-audit, Digital PR, and reputation management.
About those who work in agencies – pr-managers
PR managers establish and maintain relationships with the company’s target audience, media, and opinion leaders. General responsibilities of a PR manager include:
- development of communication campaigns;
- Writing press releases and news information;
- work with the press;
- arranging interviews for company representatives;
- Writing speeches for company executives;
- acting as an official representative of the organization;
- preparing clients for press conferences;
- developing a website and content concept for social media;
- company reputation management (crisis communications);
- management of internal communications of the company and organization of marketing; measures that increase brand awareness.
Success in public relations requires a deep understanding of the interests and concerns of each of the company’s many stakeholders. A public relations professional needs to know how to effectively address these issues using the most powerful public relations tool, publicity.
About the PR campaign, the one through “a”.
A PR campaign is a series of planned activities that have specific goals and are aimed at achieving success in communication between the company and the public.
What is the purpose of the PR campaign?
The purpose of a PR campaign always depends on the customer’s request, and what exactly needs to be achieved: increase sales, increase visibility or conduct anti-crisis communications to improve the brand reputation.
What tasks does the PR campaign solve:
- establishes brand identity and enhances public authority;
- Increases brand interest;
- helps build a customer base;
- helps increase sales and increase revenue;
- Attracts investors’ attention.
How to measure the results of a PR campaign
Before implementing any PR campaign, specific goals and performance indicators must be defined. These can be the number of mentions and publications in the media, indicators of coverage or involvement of users, and the number of units sold. By defining such indicators, you can measure and evaluate the success of the campaign.
Social media PR
PR in social networks allows the company to communicate with its audience in real-time, which is convenient and accessible. This is an effective solution that can help build relationships with readers. For effective use of social networks, it is important that the content broadcast by the company is focused on a specific topic, optimized, thought-provoking, and engaging to the audience. The strategy of PR in social networks should be adapted to each company and industry. It must be based on a correct understanding of the brand, reputation, and tone of voice, which must be clearly conveyed through the content on the networks. Social networks Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Twitter have a total of more than 3.8 billion users, which provides many opportunities for PR. Dissemination of information about updates in the company, promotion of products or services, and interaction with customers are just some of them. It is important to know your key audience, and its requests and choose the optimal channels for the most effective communication. Then move on to developing a content plan that should be fully integrated into the overall communication strategy. In this way, it will help attract new customers, inform the public about the brand and increase the company’s reputation by spreading messages from management.
About digital or digital PR
Digital PR helps a company reach more of its target customers by posting information about it or its product on websites that users visit, in podcasts, they listen to, and on the social media accounts, they view. Digital PR has a positive effect on the visibility and ranking of the company’s website in the search engine. Digital PR also includes online publishing, affiliate marketing, press releases, and social media content. Thus, information about you will be in news feeds and social media feeds, such mentions will help the company to be visible in the communication space and increase its visibility. Digital PR activities will create a sense of your brand’s online presence, and such communication will be successful.
About PR within reputation management
For a company or individual to be successful, it is important to constantly work on maintaining a reputation. An effective reputation management strategy begins with understanding what reputation the company currently has and what it wants to gain. Organizations, government agencies, or public figures are usually closely monitored and controlled by the media, activists, or the public. Therefore, it is important to report not only the fact of their activities but also their benefits. For example, company executives may speak at various thematic forums, and conferences, or be invited to speak in the media. At the same time, one must be able to express and communicate one’s position to the public. It is also important for large corporations to take care to eliminate potential threats to their image. Consider three main threats to a company’s reputation:
- change in communication technologies (in cases when the company suddenly and inexpediently changes the way, style, and channels of communication for its audience);
- negative targeted influence of certain groups (there are cases when reputational crises are caused artificially, due to the activities of interested groups or companies, then there are bots attacks on your company’s social networks or negative fake news);
- low level of public confidence (in reputational crises, a low level of public confidence is an extremely negative factor that will make it more difficult to implement anti-crisis campaigns, which will cause severe reputational damage).
It is necessary to systematically monitor negative mentions in the media, which will help in case of a problem to quickly identify and neutralize it, thus minimizing the negative consequences for the company’s reputation. Work to prevent negative sentiment among stakeholders and ensure broad recognition of the company’s values and achievements.
Anti-crisis communications are a way to solve a negative situation around a company or brand. The starting point for any effective anti-crisis communication is the acceptance of the fact that even after doing everything possible to prevent crises, they can still happen sooner or later. Therefore, it is important not only to plan their solutions as early as possible but also to know to which audience they will be directed and what you will tell them. Anti-crisis communications are a certain insurance policy, but it may not work if you do not constantly take active measures to interact and establish public relations, and do not develop trust. Such regular activities will increase the likelihood that you will be heard in the implementation of crisis communications. Perfect PR Agency has a successful experience in the implementation of anti-crisis communications, thanks to effective tools and the right information channels, we quickly neutralize the information crisis, as well as analyze and design potential threats to a business or the public in the future.
Examples of PR and pr-campaigns:
1. Creation of the official page of Ukraine on Instagram. At the initiative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine and the Ukrainian Institute, an official page of Ukraine (@ ukraine.ua) was created in order to promote the positive image of Ukraine on social networks. Such a communication solution will help foreigners get to know our country better and not associate it with war or third-world countries. The purpose of the page is to form an image of an innovative, modern, beautiful, and interesting state, which should also positively affect Ukraine’s reputation among foreign audiences and increase tourist interest in Ukraine.
2. Campaign to protect bees from UNESCO and Guerlain. The photo, where actress Angelina Jolie poses with 60,000 bees on her face and body, gained popularity on the Internet and gained 2.4 million likes on the National Geographic Instagram page during the day. All in order to raise awareness of the problem of annual bee population decline and to make the public aware of a new program designed to empower female beekeepers around the world.
3. Adidas Watch Us Move campaign to overcome sports taboos and outdoor pools in the UAE. At the request of Adidas, a research company conducted a study in the UAE and found that only 12% of women feel comfortable in swimsuits on the beach and pool. Therefore, the goal of the brand is to make every woman feel free in the water. The company has released a new inclusive series of swimwear and installed a swimming pool in the form of a floating billboard. So that every woman can dive into a huge outdoor pool and at the same time feel comfortable and free.
Successful communication is an opportunity to express yourself, your product or service, establish contact with your customer and become meaningful to him. Impeccable reputation – is designed to increase trust among customers, and to help build strong and lasting relationships. All these are the deposits of a successful and stable business and the realization of this becomes possible thanks to PR. Its value and importance are projected to grow, so it is better to start taking care of quality communications now and to remain important for your client always.
Author: Maryna Redko