What Is Public Relations?
‘What Is PR?’ is something I’ve been asked a lot since starting my career in public relations 10 years ago and it’s an answer which has evolved over the years.
In 2006, for me, it was simply about building and managing a brand’s reputation – how companies or individuals are perceived, how they perceive themselves and how any disconnect between the two can be addressed. This relied heavily on strong media relations and resulted in positive coverage in newspapers, magazines, TV and radio. Job done.
In 2016, reputations are still at the heart of PR, but the road is longer and has many more twists and turns. Today, for me, Public Relations is about the art of communicating, creating debate, shaping personalities, influencer relationships, producing quality content and owning the conversation. We also can’t ignore the rising importance of search engine optimisation as an objective in our PR campaigns.
The expanding digital landscape has put us front and centre of the marketing mix and I feel like our industry is better for it. We’ve turned a corner from being the last thought in the marketing mix to being the idea generators that all disciplines can jump off. From crafting the message to getting it out there and talked about, good Public Relations runs through the veins of any successful organisation and is just as important, if not more important, than advertising and sales promotions.
In Conclusion. What Is PR?
But, if I was to sum up exactly what public relations is, I’d have to say it’s the art of story telling. We tell stories in print, online, in broadcast, at events, on the street, in social. It’s also about listening. Listening to what the public want, what the press want and constantly shaping what we do accordingly.
Public relations is also a fantastic career choice for multi-skilled, young, ambitious people. Anyone with an interest in news, writing, creating content, film, photography and much more can have a thriving, successful career in public relations. It’s a wonderful and fast-paced industry to be involved in and being part of the conversation has never been more exciting.