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what is pr?, public relations, newspapers, news

November 30th, 2022

Unpuzzling PR

People often ask... what is PR?

Public relations, abbreviated as PR, can be hard to define but encompasses a company's reputation management and public-facing brand. Whether it is website copy, social posts, press releases or community relations, a PR consultancy can help by implementing a strategic communications process designed to elevate a business's reputation.

Public relations professionals benefit their clients by developing a positive public image. Having the best product, or offering industry-leading service, does not lead to a booming business if no one knows about it. By specialising in media relations, writing press releases and sometimes even crisis management, a PR consultant offers an outside perspective on a company and can offer strategic advice to help them move forward.

Strategic PR and Communications Planning

When a company engages a PR company, its first job is to understand the client inside and out. A series of workshops with senior management allows a PR firm to get inside the mind of a business and start to see how they might help. The ability to communicate critical messages is often the first in a series of takeaways as these sessions develop.

Understanding a business and its public perception helps the public relations firm and management focus on one or several target audiences. Often a series of fictitious personas are crafted to assist the business in understanding the specific audiences they want to reach.

Market research is also a crucial part of the strategic PR planning process. It can take many forms, but knowing the industry improves a public relations firm's understanding of the task. As public relations specialists, a consultant may need in-depth industry knowledge, such as a clear understanding of its client's products or services and competitors.

This combined will enable PR specialists to create a strategic communication plan.

Media engagement

Without having to worry about the day-to-day running of a company, a PR firm can focus on improving the public perception of a company by releasing announcements, organising speaking engagements, or hosting press conferences.

Traditional media relations still play an essential part in the public discourse. An article in a paper acts as a general endorsement, and landing this kind of coverage requires well-drafted press releases, access to media outlets and a relationship with editors and journalists.

Media requests are often overlooked as info@ inboxes can be overrun, causing profitable opportunities to be missed. A PR firm will sift through enquiries filtering out sales pitches, expensive paid media and any media coverage which will likely not improve a company's positive reputation.

A company's spokesperson is naturally vital to a business running well, and their time is understandably precious. A good public relations firm can help to identify the interviews that will be worthwhile, and the client can trust that they are worthy of their valuable time. A journalist's previous articles or employment history can shed light on an interview's direction. A public relations professional's job is to brief clients on the backstory and help them communicate the key messages effectively.

Managing media relations can be time-consuming but often helps communicate critical business messages and avoid getting negative publicity. As a specialist PR consultancy, outside assistance would maintain and develop media relationships on behalf of a client.

Digital media relations

It is often said that everything on the internet lives forever. With this in mind, a company must present a clear vision and show external parties they can be trusted. Public opinion is easily swayed, and out-of-date branding or dead links can be a turn-off for a prospective sale.

A company's website is the modern-day shopfront. With an ever-shortening attention span, the homepage should engage an audience and start to answer their questions. Bounce rate is a crucial SEO metric that, if immediate, can highlight flaws in a site. Understanding the analytics of a client's website and social media platforms can influence marketing campaigns, strategy and business development. A PR professional's job is to provide a snapshot of the data and report on improvements to demonstrate they are achieving results.

Social media platforms are a great way to engage with an audience and grow your following. Creating relevant content tailored to a target audience improves the chances of success but must come across professionally and in line with the company's key messaging.

Reputation Management

Reputation can undoubtedly influence a customer's decision to buy a product or service rather than moving one more search result down Google. For most modern businesses, a positive brand image starts online, and reputation management is how this is improved.

Since brand image impacts purchasing decisions, especially in an uncertain economic climate, actively developing and managing your reputation can feel like an impossible task, mainly when so much of it appears out of your control at first.

Working with an outside agency can be helpful for this type of work because their first impression is representative of a potential customer. Armed with a broad understanding of your business and vision, their experience can direct and implement positive change while you continue to work on what makes your business tick.

Generating Positive PR

Positive PR can be the result of chance, but more often than not, it requires effort beyond the day-to-day running of a business. PR specialists work hard to develop and promote an image that will make the brand more visible. It encompasses everything about the company – the brand's idea, products, achievements, people and leadership. Positive PR can improve the consumer perception of brands and their associated products. Positive public relations are based on the brand's values. For example, a campaign created in healthcare and medicine would seek awareness about a critical issue in medical care. The business will also support the subject in achieving a compelling reputation.

Handling Negative PR

PR is not only used to tell a compelling story. Having a PR firm on hand for crisis management can even help minimise risks to the client's reputation. Generally, a PR specialist should advise a business on how to proceed. In other words, organisations should share their own story during discussion. But the manner of response influences public opinion. If done correctly, they can improve and maintain a brand's reputation.

A PR firm must work hand in hand with a client to deliver the most up-to-date and accurate information if a crisis breaks out, avoiding any public corrections or misinterpretation of the facts. In a digital world, click-bait titles are certainly something to avoid and being clear and concise is a speciality of public relations specialists.

How Intandem Communications can help with your PR

We know how much energy and passion it takes to build a thriving organisation and understand how running it often gets in the way of promoting it, so we would start by taking a step back and helping you to define what you want to achieve from your PR. In a series of introductory workshops, we help you to unravel your business vision purpose, your target audiences and key media and the messages you need to convey. We then work with you to create a focused PR plan to achieve your goals.

We work with you to help communicate the right messages to the right people. Our strategy could include a mix of traditional press releases, photo opportunities, social media activity and internal communication.

With extensive national and regional media contacts and excellent relationships with key journalists, we will conduct intensive media relations to help ensure your story is published. Success might be through traditional media outlets such as local newspapers, regional business press, national TV and trade magazines, or online and social media platforms.

Working "in tandem" with you or your marketing department, we can help build your reputation, achieve media coverage, and grow your business.

If you need help unpuzzling your PR, please get in touch.

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