Public relations (PR) comprises a number of methods which you can use to communicate messages about the services you offer and the overall image of your organization to stakeholders and other interested members of the community.Public relations are not just about publicity,they are primarily concerned with creating a good image of the organization and ,if necessary, overcoming any negative information.
As part of your marketing activities, you should create a public relations strategy in order to improve or enhance your organization’s image in the eyes of your key stakeholders.The point of public relations is to make the public think favourably about your organization and what it does.It requires two way communication between your organization and your stakeholders in order to understand their behavior and attitude towards you.
Public relations has three main goals;
- To create, maintain and protect the organization’s reputation, enhance it’s prestige and present a favourable image.
- To create good will for the organization.
- To educate certain audiences about the organization.
Carrying out a public relations campaign
An effective public relations has six steps:
- It starts with analysis and research to identify all the relevant aspects of the situation in order to understand stakeholders and the key factors that influence their perceptions of your organization.
- An overall policy with respect to the campaign needs to be established in order to develop and subsequently evaluate the campaign.This involves defining goals and desired outcomes as well as the constraints, such as finance, under which the campaign will operate.
- Following this, you need to set out PR strategies and tactics.These need to be tailored to specific stakeholder groups.Commonly used public relations tools include online social media,news releases, media conferences, speaking engagements and community service programmes.
- The PR campaign is then put in place and communication begins with identified stakeholders.
- Following the campaign, you need to seek feedback from the targets of your campaign.How have they reacted to the public relations campaign?Are there some unexpected developments?
- In the final step, you should assess the programme and make any necessary adjustments.
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