Public relations is defined simply as curating the relationship and managing the spread of information between and organization and a the public. Being able to efficiently use the media as a resource for your business is an extremely powerful tool. Controlling an organization’s relationship with the public is an enormous task. It is not generally an easy thing to do, and it is easy to make a misstep if you are not careful. Fortunately for you and your business, there are many experts out there ready to help you navigate the course.
At times it seems press is quite easy to come by when you don’t want it, and the media can often spin any situation into something negative. Having someone on your side to manage the interactions can be a huge benefit. A good PR Company will have tight strategy to counteract these types of things and stop them from happening. It is essential that they are proactive in employing their strategies to help navigate possible frustrating media situation in the future. Any businesswoman or man, company, non-profit organization, or public figure should invest in a firm to act on their behalf. The more dependent your livelihood or success is on public opinion, the more important it is.
Interestingly, PR is not really the art of “covering up” or even cleaning up messes that damage one’s public standing. What you are really seeking is someone to be proactive and create and maintain a positive relationship with the public in the first place. Then, if something does happen, a disparaging story or unfortunate incident for example, people are more inclined to give you benefit of the doubt and wait until the whole story comes out. Similar to most things, public relations isn’t what you typically see on television!
In 2015, public relations has become more important than ever before, and for one simple reason. The internet. Information is transmitted at lightning speed, so if one of your company trucks barrels into a crowd, not only will everyone know right away, it’ll probably be on video. My point is, it’s easy for things to spin out of control, putting a company or person in a very tight spot. It doesn’t matter whether it was an even beyond your control or a due to poor planning for the event to negatively impact a company’s image. Many times, someone harms their own reputation with a careless statement or ill thought out announcement. Having a successful plan for public relations goes a long way in mitigating these risks. This ensures that all announcements and interactions are carefully planned and shaped to avoid disaster. And in the instance of sudden developments and emergencies, there will be plans in place for dealing with them.
For firms, companies, and individuals who interact with the public or media on a frequent basis, it’s recommended to hire a public information officer. Many institutions actually hire an officer to directly work for their company on payroll, as it can often be more than a full-time job. Others decide to hire a company that will provide them with one or more individuals to fill the position. They will fulfil roles such as developing campaigns related to improving relationships with the public, creating informational, relevant stories that will be of interest to the media, and cultivating relationships for the organization in general. Another essential function of the job is to deal directly with the press and public. The PR officer is the person who will likely be handling press conferences and interviews. They will also assist company officials and representatives when it is necessary for those individuals to address the public.
When you are looking for help in creating, cultivating, and managing your or your business’ public image, it’s imperative you find a company with relevant experience. Public relations isn’t a field where everything pre-internet has just been tossed aside, it’s just a matter of correctly employing old tactics with use of the internet. Social media has become an essential part of the equation when it comes to PR, and I know I prefer a company who focuses on it. It can be easily argued that with social media, it’s easier to impact one’s image, both positively and negatively. If you think about it, any relevant company today has a presence on Facebook, twitter, and many other forms of media.
It’s time to focus on the image that you or your company has, and to develop a positive relationship with the media and public. Start by hiring a social media marketing service who knows what they are doing, and is dedicating to moving with your company into the future. You will quickly see the many benefits having a great relationship with the public can do for your business.