You would think it would be the basic building block for any successful company. I mean, if they people don’t like your brand, you don’t really stand a chance from my perspective. If you haven’t guessed what I’m babbling about yet, we’re dissecting the matter that is Public Relations. With PR being one of the most difficult jobs in today’s society, I’m questioning why more people aren’t focusing a greater deal of attention on their PR departments and giving higher gratitude to the brilliant people managing it.
Could it be that people are just unfamiliar with what a good Public Relations sector looks like, or are they just uncomfortable with the idea of creating a consistent persona for their brand? Either way, I think it’s considerably significant to break down what PR is all about and how it’s increasingly relevant for a prosperous business.
They way I would define PR would be the concept of relating an organization/business/idea to the public/consumer. Public Relations is a way for producer and consumer to interact/connect on a comfortable level. It takes an individual that is relatable and relatively well liked to create a successful Public Relations department.
Before entering my CAP 220 class at GVSU I have been able to form an extremely positive perception of Public Relations. I’m a communications major but my minor is AdPR and I’m pretty sure PR is one of the most vital tools I’ve learned thus far in my college career.
One influential tactic I’ve learned is that when we’re talking professional PR it’s time to put your best foot forward. If people don’t like you personally, that’s not a huge issue; but, when people don’t like your brand you might be in a bit of trouble.
I’ve found that mastering a super friendly, positive, uplifting, and sometimes comedic personality in a PR department can work wonders for a business. In a generation that relies solely on social media, companies need to be in touch with what their consumers favor. Society’s preferences are ever changing, which in turn means our brands must evolve as well.
In a piece from PR Newswire Collin Price states, “Disruption creates risk but also opportunity. More than ever, leaders need to be able to accelerate their organizations to value ahead of their competitors, both established and newly emerging” (Navigating an Uncertain World 2017). The title of this article, “Navigating an Uncertain World with a Foot on the Accelerator Pedal,” really helped to expand my view of PR. Technology has completely accelerated the world of PR. From my own perspective, I believed PR departments previously would have been in charge of matters such as customer service in the form of working out problems and planning events. Today it is so much more. PR departments now have to manage social media accounts, tediously and constantly replying to customers online comments, complaints, and questions.
Another article grabbed my attention as it also mentioned the intense to-do list of a PR person in the 21st century.
Graeme Sterne explains in his article from the Journal of Communications Management that a good PR representative “knows how to play the media way” (Sterne 2010). He further clarified how managing a PR department requires you to think strategically, know what journalists want, have a succinct pitch, and prompt release of accurate information. I never really considered that a lot more than the outreach and brand personality rely on PR people. This piece put into perspective for me that even if one detail in a disclosure, one piece of false information is released, or one customer thinks the person they talked to over the phone was rude, it can all fall back on the PR department.
Stephanie Vermillion points out the obvious in her article, “How to explain PR to your friends,” when she discusses the publics common opinion that PR is boring (Vermillion 2015). Before taking any CAP classes at GV I was probably in the same boat. Stephanie shares how to explain to non-industry people what a job in PR entails and how it’s so much more than dealing with complaints and posting on Facebook. In the article, she reveals how PR also requires building comprehensive PR plans, crunching website analytics numbers, and developing creative initiatives to engage consumers across legacy and digital platforms (Vermillion 2015). If there is one thing I’ve learned from my CAP classes at GV, it’s that analytics are hard. Props to you PR people, you rockstars you.
Although I feel like I have a pretty good sense of what is necessary for Public Relations, I know I have a lot to learn. With the amount of company/consumer connection, business building, and brand managing that PR people do, I think it is one of, if not the most important and essential departments of an organization.
PR people are like a celebrity’s hair and makeup artist or maybe their speech writers. They go through and make sure everything is spotless before the celeb makes an appearance anywhere. In a similar way, PR people basically make everything perfect so the brand can take all the glory. Public Relations not only requires you to have incomparable business capabilities and skills, but it also requires you to use them in a way that people like and relate to for the success of an entire team. To me there could be no more challenging or rewarding task.
Navigating an Uncertain World with a Foot on the Accelerator Pedal. (2017, January 15). Retrieved January 15, 2017, from http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/navigating-an-uncertain-world-with-a-foot-on-the-accelerator-pedal-300390658.html
Sterne, G. D. (2010). Media perceptions of public relations in new zealand. Journal of Communication Management, 14(1), 4-31. doi:http://dx.doi.org.ezproxy.gvsu.edu/10.1108/13632541011017780
Vermillion, S. (2015, December). How to explain PR to your friends. Retrieved January 15, 2017, from https://www.prdaily.com/Main/Articles/18186.aspx