What is Public Relations?
Meaning of Public Relations
The deliberate, planned, and sustained effort to establish and maintain mutual understanding between an organisation and its public is known as Public Relations. It is a continuous activity and its aim is to create and manage relations with the public successfully.
According to The Public Association Relations, ” Public Relations is the art and social science of analysing trends, predicting their consequences, counselling organisational leaders and implementing planned programme of action which will serve both the organisation and the public interest”.
According to The Chartered Institute of Public Relations, ” Public Relations is a strategic management function that adds value to an organisation by helping it to manage its reputation”.
Importance of Public Relations
- The word ‘Public’ in Public Relation does not only include customers. It also includes shareholders, suppliers, intermediaries, investors, creditors, government, etc. Therefore, the cooperation of the public is essential for running the business smoothly.
- Public Relations creates a favourable image toward an organisation, its people, products, etc. It aims at establishing healthy relations between the organisation and the public.
- A variety of programmes are included in Public Relations to promote and protect a company’s image, which strengthens relations with customers, shareholders, employees, suppliers, etc.
- Public Relations is maintained through news, speeches, organising events like fests, concerts, seminars, etc.
- A wide range of tactics are involved in Public Relations:
It provides information to independent media sources in order to gain favourable coverage.
It promotes specific products, services, and events along with the overall brand of an organisation.
Role of Public Relations
- A good Public Relation helps an organisation in its functioning and achieving organisational goals smoothly.
- It helps in building corporate image, which affects the products favourably. For example, donating to a social cause creates a positive image of the organisation.
- Interest is built in the established product and the product is also easily launched with the help of Public Relations.
- It supplements advertising by promoting new and existing new products.
- It helps organisations to face the challenges prevailing in the environment, like increasing size, growth, risks of industries, availability of information quickly and at low costs, rising consumerism, etc.
- It lowers the cost of promotion. It costs much less than advertising, but it requires time and a lot of effort to convince the media to cover the organisation and its products.
Organisations are now focusing on creating their own Public Relations departments. Every business has public relations officers to keep the public satisfied and content.
Tools of Public Relations
Following are the tools of Public Relation:
1. Press Release
An announcement of an event, performance or other newsworthy items, which is issued to the press by a public relations professional of an organisation, comes under Press Release. The information about the product and the organisation is presented in a positive manner, and for that, it should be written in the form of a story with a headline, which is attractive, so that the media can quickly grasp and circulate the message through television, newspapers, magazines, etc. The Public Relations department ensures that the media presents the facts and correct picture of the organisation; otherwise, it can spoil the image of the organisation.
2. Press Kits
The comprehensive package of promotional material which is provided to the members of the press containing information about the company’s products and services is known as Press Kits. The company’s biography, information of senior management, comments from the customers, pictures of products, etc., are included in the press kits.
Brochures are usually booklets containing an organisation’s background, ethics, vision, mission, goals, its past, present and future projects. These are published by the organisations annually or half-yearly.
The periodically sent publications which focus on a particular set of people are known as Newsletters. The writing style of the newsletter is kept less formal and more like a letter. Nowadays companies send newsletters through emails, e.g., H&M, Daniel Wellington, etc., send their newsletters to customers through emails.
5. Annual Reports
The operations and financial activities of a company throughout the preceding year are described through a comprehensive report, known as Annual Reports. It provides information about the company’s activities and financial performance to the shareholders and other interested parties.
6. Conferences and Seminars
Companies conduct conferences, seminars, and webinars on a regular basis to maintain public relations. These make the public aware of the organisation. For example, an IT firm conducting a seminar or webinar on ‘How does anti-virus helps?’.
Events build a big picture of an organisation. Businesses often organise events to build a positive image of the organisation. They organise opening ceremonies, star-studded events, etc. For example, a publishing house launching a book with the authors of the book, big investors, other famous authors and writers, etc.
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