What is Public Relation (PR)?
Public relation (PR) is a process, practice, and strategy in which a firm or an organization communicate with people, try to understand their need, problem and make an attempt to solve, ultimately aiming to build a mutually benefiting relationships with the public.
Public relation is an attempt to be a good citizen in the market. It is a deliberate, planned, and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between the business organization and the public.
Public relations is one of the promotion mix components which has a great role in the marketing efforts of the firm to establish a good relationship with the target market. It has become an important marketing tool these days.
The underlying assumption of public relations is that if the company’s image is poor in society, no other products or services will satisfy the customers even though the products have good quality.
According to the Public Relation Society of America, “Public Relation is a philosophy and function of management expressed in policies and practices serve the public to serve its understanding and goodwill.”
Why Public Relation is Important?
Public relations has become these days one of the most important tools for any business organization. To gain a good image in society, a company needs to establish a good relationship with the public.
When a company’s reputation breaks down in the market, it negatively affects the whole existence of the company. It is seen that, after such reputation breaks down, most of the company takes 4 to 7 years to overcome such negativity from the people.
The public is the members of the society, including customers, employees, stockholders, dealers, the press, and the general community. These people have a certain stake in the company, they directly or indirectly affect the existence of the company.
When a company creates a good mutual understanding with the public, the acceptance of its offerings becomes very high. On the contrary, when public understanding is not good about the company there is less chance that the company’s products will be sold.
A good public relation effort helps the company to build a brand image, find new opportunities, promotes brand value, and strengthens the community relations.
Hence it is important for the company to establish good relations with these members if it wants to successfully promotes its products and services and establish a good market, and secure the future with profitability.
Objectives of Public Relations
The primary objective of public relations is to secure a mutual understanding with the public and obtain goodwill from them. Moreover, it plays important role in achieving the following objectives,
Build Awareness. Through good public relations, the customers and public are attracted and informed about the company’s products, services, ideas, and future actions.
Build Credibility. It can add credibility to the company and its product through proper communication of messages in various promotional media and editorial contexts. Such effort of the company helps to build trust by the public as they know almost necessary detail about the company.
Stimulates Salesforce and Dealers. It aims to establish a good relationship with the sales forces and dealers, which stimulates them in giving their hundred percent.
Hold Down Promotion Cost. One of the primary objectives of public relations is to develop the goodwill and brand of the company thereby reducing its promotional cost. Through public relations, the organizations aim to win the confidence of the public.
Tools of Public Relations
To build a good relationship with the public a business firm or marketer can employ various PR tools. For reaching the public the marketer can use personal and non-personal means of communication.
How to create a good public relation? The major PR tools that make building public relations successful are listed below,
Media relation is one of the most effective tools for building a good relationship with the public. Media relation involves using different media for explaining the different aspects of the organization and its products or services.
Through media relations, different aspects of the company are shared, journalists are called, and through different statements and articles, the information of the company is publicized. It includes
i. Press Conference – It is one of the traditional and most effective tools of public relations. It focuses on giving marketing information to the press by direct use of face-to-face communication.
ii. Press Release – This tool of public relations involves handing out information to the different media.
iii. Press Tour – Press tour involves inviting all journalists to visit the company and its production house where products and services are developed. The journalist in turn writes reports, articles, etc. based on the company.
The publication is also one of the widely used tools to make a good public relation. Publication of the company includes providing reports to the general public such as annual reports, calendars, articles, the company’s newsletters, etc.
Since the different materials are made available, the public gets to know about the company easily, if the information meets public expectations, the reputation of the firm grows. Providing annual reports to the public also clears that the company believes in transparency.
Most of the time, public relations professionals use the news to get the attention of the people by creating interesting and new stories about the company.
Through the different newspapers, magazines the PR professionals provide a written story to the public. Similarly, through the online newspapers’ sites, they provide an attractive video about the company plus written information. However, such activities require great skills, knowledge, and experience.
Through the different events also a company can promote its relation with the public. With the help of events, the company can get to know potential customers, advertise its products, and also clears the doubts of the people.
From the seller’s view, through the events, he gets a chance to encounter and clear the doubts of his customers. From a relation point of view, the marketer or firm gets to know the problems of customers (public), and later it may take action to respond to them.
The events such as press conferences, special festivals, trade shows, cultural sponsorships, etc. are great sources for the company to gain popularity. For example, when any company sponsors the World Cup, it gets popular all around the world.
Oral communication is also a great way to build good public relations. It is the first means to communicate to the public before the evolution of different media.
To make a good relationship with the public the company representatives may directly visit the public, make talks, share different thoughts and infomation.
This medium is very effective to build a good relationship with the public. Through which the marketer can make direct interaction and here immediate feedback is also possible. Such immediate feedback is not possible via other public relations tools.
However in oral communication, the messages of the marketer do not retain for a long time, hence the chances of forgetting are very high.
In the 21st century, social media is an unforgettable part of marketing activities. Social media like Facebook, Google, Twitter, Linkedin, and other has a great role to inform and reach a larger number of people at a single time.
Through an advertisement in social media like Facebook, a company can reach millions of its potential customers at a time. While sharing the acceptable information the customer’s attention can be drawn towards the company.
Speeches are also one of the great tools for public relations. To increase the reputation and build a good image of the company through speeches is in the hands of key position holders of the company.
During the special functions, annual functions of the company, the managers, experts usually give speeches about the company establishment, working style, achievement, offerings uses & benefits in front of the large audience – which in turn builds a good impression and popularity among different stakeholders.
Examples of Public Relation
Examples of public relations can be found done locally, nationally, and internationally which include running public relations campaigns and supports to the public.
Simply, when in the rainy season, most of the people are affected by heavy rains, landslides, and who lost their houses because of such events, if any company tries to provide them some facilities such as food, clothing, etc. is an example of the company is giving a hand to develop a good public relation with the public.
Similarly, another example
Google Started Ebola Donation In 2014
In 2014, Google started raising funds to support people who are fighting the Ebola virus, which was a deadly virus in West Africa and which had become the cause of thousands of people.
The goal of such fundraising is to raise a total of $7.5 million for nonprofits purpose, where Larry Page has said, whenever a person donate $1, I (Google) will donate $2. You can see this initiative of Google as work for nonprofit purposes as well as an attempt to build a brand image, relation, and earn goodwill from the public. Actually, all are true.