Latest industry views and advice

November 12

Public relations is a vital part of any business’ communications and reputation-building strategy.

However, some perceive public relations and marketing as one and the same; throw advertising into the mix and you can understand the confusion.

The Public Relations Consultants Association (PRCA) says PR is ‘the result of what you do, what you say, and what others say about you’ and that it is achieved through many means from short-term campaigns and online viral campaigns to working with communities. Meanwhile, the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) believes public relations is the ‘planned and sustained effort of maintaining goodwill’.

PR professionals may suggest that public relations is about relationships and reputation  – gaining trust among the publics an organisation is trying to reach.

Do you need advice and support with B2B public relations for your  business? 

Contact us for an informal chat about how public relations can help your business or call directly on 0161 672 7000.

How does PR differ from marketing?

There are many areas of marketing and PR that appear to overlap or use similar techniques. The most obvious confusion lies in the ‘four p’s’ used in marketing – product, price, place, promotion. Promotion incorporates public relations but that’s not to say PR is just a part of marketing as is often perceived. It is true that marketing and PR all aim to develop brands in the eye of an organisation’s publics but they use different approaches to achieve an outcomes.

If public relations is about building and protecting reputation, marketing is about nurturing and persuading an audience to use/invest in a company or a product. The latter is more successful if PR has been successful; it’s much easier to promote a product if a company has a well-established reputation and the combination of good marketing and good PR inevitably contributes to a business’ success and growth.

Advertising – as one part of the marketing mix in which brand messages are placed in relevant media – differs immediately from PR-generated editorial in that fact that it’s paid for. The cross-over comes with so-called “advertorial”, which is fundamentally promotional messaging made to look like editorial content. PR-produced content aimed at the media is put through a journalistic filter and, if used by the medium, is not based on a commercial transaction. PR people would say (and rightly so!) that gives it added credibility.

What effect does PR have on a business?

Customers by default will choose a brand they know or feel they trust and PR can build that trust by creating or building upon a company’s reputation so that it becomes much easier to attract and retain customers.

A business’s workforce has a hand in its perceived reputation too; an unhappy workforce will more often than not deliver below par customer service and the customer experience becomes a poor one. PR can affect staff morale through positive and effective two-way internal communication to ensure staff are happy and feel they are being listened to and valued. A positive workforce means increased productivity and staff retention plus the customer service they deliver will be improved and maintained.

Regular and effective external communication clearly impacts a business’ success and image. A good public relations professional will ensure that external communications are well targeted in order to reach the right audiences. Today, the traditional media isn’t the only “game in town” and so social media activity might also be part of the communications strategy.

A company’s reputation in its local community might also be vital to its success. By keeping its local audiences well informed, they will have greater trust in the company and in times of crisis the company’s reputation won’t be so easily harmed.

Maintaining goodwill is an important part of how PR affects a business’s success because at a time of negativity a company’s value may decrease, its profits and sales may decrease but if its external and internal communication is effective and is maintained, its reputation should stay intact and the company will be able to recover.

Do you need advice and support with B2B public relations or B2B content creation for your  business? 

Contact us for an informal chat about how public relations can help your business or call directly on 0161 672 7000.

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