The Importance of Public Relations

The way you appear to customers, stakeholders and the general public plays a central role in the success of your organisation. Every single interaction you have will reflect on you and the way you are perceived. This is essentially Public Relations.

According to the CIPR:

Public Relations is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you.

Public Relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support and influencing opinion and behaviour. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.

This can cover a multitude of activities, so this post is going to set out some key examples and how a professional PR practitioner might be able to help.

Media Relations
Social Media
Internal Communications
Copywriting and Proofreading
Branding
Planning and Strategy
Where to go for help

Media Relations

This is the thing that springs to mind for most people when you mention ‘PR’. Writing press releases, liaising with journalists and arranging interviews are key skills for many PR practitioners.

Their understanding of various publications and programmes means they should be able to find the best way for your story to be heard, and relationships with journalists means they can tailor the pitch to give you the best chance of getting featured.

Social Media

Social Media is everywhere. Whether you have social media pages or not, people will be talking about you, and it’s best to be part of that conversation.

A PR practitioner can help you plan your social media content, making sure your posts and responses are in keeping with the rest of your marketing materials. Depending on the practitioner’s specialisms, they may also be able to help with social media advertising and engagement campaigns.

Internal Communications

PR isn’t just about customers, making sure you communicate well with staff is just as important. Internal communications ensures any representative of your organisation understands your aims and objectives, and can put these across effectively when they’re talking to any other stakeholders.

Arguably, internal communications is one of the most important aspects of Public Relations – if your staff don’t fully understand the values of your organisation and feel valued as an employee, it’s unlikely they will be loyal employees and portray the right image to external stakeholders.

Copywriting and Proofreading

We’ve all been in that position – you’ve written something really important, you need to give it one final check, but the words just don’t make sense any more. Or, you’ve got that really important piece to put together and you just can’t find the right words.

This is the PR practitioner’s bread and butter. Finding the right words to get the relevant message to the people you want to hear is what we do!

Whether it’s writing the content for a website, putting together a newsletter or crafting that critical letter to a VIP, a PR practitioner will relish the opportunity to find the right words and phrases, or add the final polish, making sure all the ‘i’s are dotted and the ‘t’s are crossed.

Branding

More than just a logo, branding encompasses all the ways in which you portray your organisation. From your visions and values to the tone of voice you use, your branding reaches every area of your business.

Full branding is normally done in conjunction with a graphic designer, who can make sure the visual elements of your brand are in line with the tone of the rest of the materials you are producing, to create a cohesive and consistent look and feel across everything you do.

This consistency makes it easier for customers to recognise you, wherever you appear, and allows anyone involved in your organisation see at a glance how they should be communicating, whether it’s as simple as the words they use in an email or the colours and images they use on a billboard poster.

Planning and Strategy

How often have you got to Friday afternoon and realised you haven’t posted anything on social media all week? Or you have a big event planned and suddenly realise you haven’t got enough time to do all the publicity you wanted to?

This is where planning and strategy comes in. While it’s sometimes necessary to work on an ad hoc basis, planning gives you a more structured approach to help you reach your goals and objectives. It also takes some of the pressure away – knowing that there’s a plan to stick to stops a last minute scramble for ideas.

Planning ahead and working out a communications strategy to help your organisation reach its goals adds more structure and coherency to your communications and makes things easier for you.

Where to go for PR support

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations has a register of all its current members. Here you can see what level of membership practitioners have, and whether they’re Accredited or Chartered. This means you can be assured that the practitioner you’re working with is keeping up to date with best practice and the latest developments (you can see Louise’s entry here!).

Contact Manico PR to talk through your PR requirements and what level of support you need.

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