A public image of the company is also an asset. According to a study, 63% of the worth and value of any business is due to the public image. If an incident causes a bad reputation to the company, the very foundation of the company would be in great jeopardy. It would take approximately 7 years to overcome and recover the company’s brand image. Therefore, businesses and companies need to build and maintain relations with the public.
What Is Public Relations?
Public Relations is a communication process through which businesses and companies establish a favorable and beneficial relationship with the public. Here are some of the following activities involved in public relations;
- Creating a favorable awareness of the company among the public by using various media outlets and written content,
- Keep monitoring the media to see how the public is reacting and commenting on the company’s products.
- If any incident happens, then follow the recovery protocol and manage the crisis.
- Establish a positive image and goodwill of the company by organizing events and philanthropic communal activities.
Objectives of Public Relations
Some of the objectives of public relations are as follows;
- Creating Product Awareness. As the name implies, you launch the company’s product/service to the public at this stage. Marketers use advertisement and promotion campaigns to attract the attention of the target market.
- Generating Interest. When you have the attention of your target market, the next step is to create interest in the company’s product/service through events and articles. For instance, a company has a special food menu and the brand promotes it by sending a promotional release to its target market.
- Informing. The purpose of the PR is to provide well-detailed information about the brand’s product/service. The company delivers information through media, articles, press-release, and the company’s website.
- Encourage Demand. When your customers are better informed through media, articles, events, and promotional activities, it’s highly probable that better information would create demand among your target customers. Consequently, the sale of the company would increase.
- Strengthening Brand. The overall objective of PR is to establish and strengthen the brand image of the company along with the sale. That’s why it’s important to build, maintain, and establish a relationship with customers because it strengthens the company’s brand image.
Importance of Public Relations
Here are some of the reasons why the public is important for the company;
Manage the Brand’s Reputation
The public Relations is all about creating a public perception of the company and its products. If the company’s advertisement and promotional campaign aren’t working or people have questions. Then you can clear it out in the PR.
Promote the Company’s Values
Every company has core values and mission statement; you can carve it within the PR storyline of your press release and notifications to tell people that you stand for goodness and prosperity.
Build a Relationship with the Community
Public Relations is all about building a relationship with the community, so the business could perform well. Sometimes, people have questions and concerns about the company’s products. PR personals answer those concerns with customers asking.
Companies operate their businesses in the macro-environment. If your PR department is active, then it could manipulate the macro-environmental factors into its advantage.
Functions of Public Relations
Some of the important functions and features of PR are as follows;
- Public Support. One of the main functions of public relations is to acquire and win public support for the company. If the public has sympathy towards your brand, then they would choose your product over competitors while shopping.
- Positive Relations with the Public. Sometimes competitors’ marketing campaigns create negative vibes about your brand’s product. It’s important to clear the air from time to time and build a positive relationship with the public.
- Satisfactory Relationship. A company deals with multiple stakeholders at one time like; employees, investors, shareholders, public, and customers, therefore, it’s necessary for the public relation is to bring everyone on the same page.
- Ongoing Process. Public relations of the company are an ongoing and repetitive process. Whenever anything happens, regardless of the good or bad, launching of a new product/service, PR has to issue statements to the public.
- Professional Activity. Since has PR has to face media personals and professional journalists, and they thoroughly analyze every word of your statement. PR job may look easy but it’s not as easy as it sounds like. Therefore, you have to hire a professional communication specialist to do a PR job.
Types of Public Relations
According to the function and features of the PR, we can divide it into the following types;
- Media Relations. Media relations mean that you build relations with media through interviews, press releases, notifications, and press conferences.
- Communal Relations. Here you establish a relationship with the local community. It’s to get public support, launching a new product, customer’s feedback, and response to some event.
- Social Responsibility. Corporations also have a social responsibility that goes beyond sales and profit-making. It means performing all the operations of the business that is good for society as a whole.
- Government Relations. It means building a suitable relationship with the local government to carry out all the operations smoothly and efficiently. It could be legal, monetary, or otherwise. The point is to have the government on your side.
- Crisis management. The PR personals must be ready to face all kinds of challenges, and there should be a protocol for every possible scenario.
- Social Media. Using social media has also become a part of companies’ marketing plan, where they keep the public informed about every little detail and the progress that the company is making.
- Employees’ Relationship. Employees are a great valuable asset to the company. Therefore, it’s important for the PR personals that they should develop to keep employees informed about companies’ plans and what their roles be. When employees are satisfied and well informed, the productivity of the company would increase.
Advantages of Public Relations
Some of the advantages of public relations are as follows;
- Influence. When PR personals directly communicate with the customers, instead of the paid ads and indirect promotional campaign, then it is highly likely that customers would believe them.
- Cost-efficient. If you compare the cost of PR with paid ads and promotional campaigns, then public relations is much cheaper and cost-efficient.
- Reach. If your press release or notification is effective and communicated well, then it would reach more customers. al
Disadvantages of Public Relations
Some of the disadvantages of public relations are as follows;
- No control. If the press release of the company is loosely arranged, then it would bring a lot of criticism to the company.
- No promised Result. If PR goes well, then it would bring a lot of benefits to the company. If it doesn’t go well, then vice versa, but you can’t be uncertain about the company results.
- Evaluation. There are no well defined quantitative rules to measure the performance of public relations. Often, you never know whether your PR strategies are working or not.
Public Relations Examples
Following are few brilliant examples of public relation campaigns.
Pepsi Augmented Reality
At the Halloween festival, Pepsi used a facial tracking technology at the bathrooms of some theatres. When people went to and they were shocked to see their horror face in the bathroom mirror. When the video went viral on YouTube, over 2 million watched it with the hashtag of #livefornow.
Google’s Campaign to Fight Ebola
When the Ebola virus broke out in 2014 and started spreading. Google launched a campaign to gather donations. This PR donation campaign for Google established a very good image of the company, and it collected donations of 7.5 million dollars.
Just Eat and a Sick Customer
Just Eat is an online food delivery service where customers publically comment and talk with the delivery guy to get the food delivered at their doorsteps. When sick customers engaged in a comment and requested the delivery guy to buy medicine for her on his way delivering the food. The delivery bought the medicine for the customer, even though it wasn’t his job. It went viral and brought a good reputation to the company.