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Thursday, March 19, 2015

What is Public Relations?

Last week I ran a workshop on Personal and Professional Branding Strategies for the Career Development Association of Australia. One topic that intrigued the group was how to do your own public relations to grow your business. Well there are a lot of tactics small and larger businesses can use and I will cover a number of these over the next few weeks. However, to start off, let’s look at – What is Public Relations? Public Relations includes a variety of tactics that strengthen your credibility, enhance your image, develop goodwill or influence public opinion. 

As The Public Relations Institute of Australia defines it – PR is a two-way communication between an organisation and its publics.

Put simply PR involves communicating who you are, what you do, why you do it and how you make a difference. Forward-thinking businesses know that communicating – and doing so frequently and effectively – is a very important aspect to the success of their business.

Public relations tactics used can include special events, newsletters, annual reports, sponsorships, speaking opportunities, news conferences, publicity, media relations, social media, investor relations, community relations, and other activities designed to influence opinion.

Marketing and Public Relations are often confused – what is the difference?

Well the lines between all the different functions are becoming increasingly blurred. Many PR agencies say they cover integrated communications, others say communications marketing, media marketing. Communications to many consumers is all about technology and nothing to do with public relations. Even in my business my point of difference is integrated personal and professional public relations. Read here to find out what that is.

Marketing covers all aspects of producing, promoting and distributing goods and services to the consumer. The main elements of marketing are the product, its price, distribution and promotion – which includes advertising as well as publicity. Selling is one of the most vital functions of marketing and of course advertising is a very important part of this function. Sales promotions would also be part of a marketing campaign. An example would be a competition giveaway on the back of a cereal pack.

Marcomms is also a widely used term these days and stands for Marketing Communications. This role or department in a large organisation generally covers both marketing and public relations. There are also advertising agencies, marketing agencies and public relations consultancies that provide an integrated mix of these services.

Often marketing, advertising and sales will work together in a major corporation while corporate and internal communications, media relations and public relations will be part of a separate department.

For the small to medium business owner as well as the larger businesses, all of these elements must work together to ensure a coordinated approach to getting your name, reputation or brand “out there”. Advertising, marketing and PR must work together to ensure the successful roll out of your message, product, or service into the market place. 

In my free eBook the Power of Personal Public Relations I write more about uncovering your personal brand. Download your copy here

Read last week’s blog Clothes Maketh the Man .

Sue Currie is a personal branding specialist and director of Sue Currie Communications an agency providing an integrated strategy of personal and professional public relations solutions to help business owners boost their image, renown,brand and business. Through consulting, corporate workshops and conference speaking, Sue helps organisations and individuals to stand out and shine.

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