Updated: Aug 19, 2020
For those of us who work in PR, we are often asked what is it that we actually do. Do we work in advertising? No! PR is the persuasion business. It is the steady management of the spread of a brands information. We are communication experts and leverage media channels, journalists, and partners to promote companies and convince audiences to engage with our clients and products through unpaid and earned methods.
For the full ‘PR story’ check out Robert Wynne’s article detailing five things everyone should know about Public Relations.
Anyhow, let’s move onto clarifying the different types of PR which make up our industry. 💭
Media Relations 🤳
The PR guys who deal with media relations are responsible for how your brand is portrayed in the media. They are the pros who specialise in press communication. As Tyler Lehner states in his blog, they are the ‘brave souls’ of PR. They write the press releases, schedule interviews, and give press conferences. Their agenda is to enhance and maintain your positive company image. They don't sit on the side lines like Kermit here...
They are professional storytellers. No, this does not mean that they will tuck you into bed for a bedtime story, but they will analyse your organisation and identify the positive messages that they will translate into positive stories for the media. When the news is negative, they will formulate the best response as possible, and alleviate the damage.
Have a look at this Independent article about how those in Digital PR work to influence public opinion.
Public Affairs (aka lobbying) 🕴
This is where the government is used as the tool for communication in order to ameliorate your company or brand. Public affairs specialists work to make connections and maintain relationships with government officials and ministers. If your brand is of interest to a government official, then they will represent your company and endorse you to the wider public and community.
Here’s a guide to what it’s like working in public affairs.
Impressing your local and wider community is an essential element for any brand or company, whether they are a SME or larger enterprise. Community Engagement Officers understand how people in the community think and act, and they will help you develop and maintain a reputation. They will help the community see how your company/brand will have a beneficial impact on the local economy. Their expertise lies in organising events, arranging meetings, and visits with those in need, such as local schools.
Engaging with the local community will aid you to:
🔸 Change the people’s mindsets about an issue.
🔸 Rally up an interest in your product or company.
🔸 Aid your ethics and morals as a company by demonstrating that you are willing to give
🔸 Gain local support for any new projects you may be carrying out, such as the construction
of a new business park.
Social Media 📲
Social media is a form of ‘owned media’ as you are in control of your posts and website. HubSpot details the difference between owned, paid, and earned media.
PR professionals rely on social media to positively promote a company or product across a variety of channels. Social media is brilliant to reach a large and tailored audience, as it allows you to connect with your direct audience, and influence them to promote you to their own audience.
Different social platforms have their own benefits to a PR campaign. LinkedIn, for example, can be used to share press releases, educate your audience, and provide tips on training and educational articles to read. It is also a brilliant networking system, allowing you to engage with fellow entrepreneurs and professionals. Here’s a great post about how to use LinkedIn to build credibility.
See my latest post on ‘5 Effective Ways to Use Social Media with PR.
Corporate and Social Responsibility 🍃
This form of PR enhances a company’s moral compass and ethical reputation. They work to improve an organisation's esteem for philanthropy, environmental responsibility, and community service. CSP professionals work with companies to improve relationships with employees and customers, and aim to put sustainable policies in place. They compliment business ventures with socially responsible actions. For more information on the world of CSP, have a read of Principal People’s blog.
Crisis Management 🆘
Now this is where you need to think on your feet. Crisis management is the PR you rely on
when disaster strikes. If you have a brand-threatening situation, then you rely on these individuals to formulate strategic solutions, and solve the issue. Preparing for unexpected outcomes is the trick of their trade. They understand what issues can be solved with a single tweet, or ones which require re-branding and multiple press conferences.
For more information about the different forms of PR, have a read of a fellow guide on Bright Network.
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About the Author:
Evie is a published writer, living and working in London. She’s a PR Assistant and Copywriter at GuidedPR. She holds a BA Hons in History from Royal Holloway and has accordingly worked within the culture sector and legal industry. You’ll usually find her scribbling down words in a coffee shop with a flat white in hand.
Find Evie on LinkedIn.