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 Public Relations (PR) 

“Public relations practice is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain good-will and understanding between an organisation and its publics”.  Institute of Public Relations, UK.

In summary:

  • PR involves creative means of building reputation and credibility.
  • PR means effective, timely and targeted communication.
  • PR relies on the principle that good business sets out to earn and keep the goodwill and support of its key stakeholders.
  • PR means careful analysis of feedback and information and the ability to adapt to changing circumstances.

Successful enterprises depend on a range of key relationships.  Well-managed public relations can turn all these vital relationships into assets for the organisation.  Key relationships include:

  • consumers
  • investors
  • legislators
  • the media
  • employees
  • neighbours.

Public Relations above all, requires planning. Once established, it requires ongoing activity to maintain a positive reputation for your products and company.

A word on what PR is not: it is not ‘free advertising’, or ‘spinning’ a story to the media, or exaggerating a product’s attributes, or ‘buying’ positive reviews from a journalist.

PR Activities:   Primary Uses:
Press releases    Generate brand/product/service awareness
Product launches    Convey news about an existing brand/product/service/organisation
Photo-calls  Reinforce advertising and promotional activity
Media interviews  Change/modify consumer opinion/perceptions
Trade events (exhibitions, corporate hospitality days, ‘open days’, seminars Position companies as leaders/experts
Holding statements/media training Help manage crises
Media/internet monitoring Tracking issues


Strengths:  Weaknesses:
  • Credibility - perceived as coming from an independent source
  • Well executed PR can be a cost effective alternative to advertising
  • Lack of editorial control
  • Lack of predictability in timing of media exposure
  • Typically "slow-burn" in effect
  • Hard to measure