PR or public relations is nothing but the practice of protecting as well as enhancing the reputation of any particular organization/firm or for that matter any individual. In todayâ€™s world of fierce competition, where every organization strives hard to work toward its brand image, public relations has become the need of the hour. It is essential for every organization to communicate well with its public/target audience. The correct flow of information is essential. Here comes the importance of public relations.
What is Public Relations ?
The practice of maintaining a healthy relationship between organization and its public/employees/stakeholders/investors/partners is called public relations. Public relation activities ensure the correct flow of information between the organization and its public also called its target audience. Public relations goes a long way in maintaining the brand image of an organization in the eyes of its audience, stake holders, investors and all others who are associated with it.
For schools, the target audience would be students and their parents/guardians, for retailers the target audience would be customers and so on.
In the above examples, Public Relations ensures a smooth two way communication between the school authorities and its target audiences (students and their parents).Retailers must address their customers well for a positive word of mouth and a strong brand positioning. It is really important to create a positive image of any particular brand in the minds of consumers for it do well. Public relations experts not only help in the flow of information from the organization to its public but also from the public to the organization.(Two way communication).The flow of information from the public to the organization is generally in the form of reviews, feedback(positive/negative),appreciation and so on. Public relations strengthens the relationship between the organization and its target audience, employees, stakeholders, investors etc.
Public Relation Activities
Here are some ways of enhancing an organizationâ€™s brand image:
Addressing the media
Speaking at various press conferences, seminars.
Advertisements to correctly position the brand, Pamphlets, Brochures, magazines notices, newsletters and so on.
Corporate Social responsibility(CSR Activities)
Introducing various loyalty schemes for customers like membership cards, premium clubs so as to retain the customers.
Various events, shows and activities.
Public relation experts sometimes turn a bad situation into the organizationâ€™s favour.Such a situation is called as spin. Spin refers to a situation where public relation experts tactfully utilize an unfavourable situation for companyâ€™s benefits and publicity.
In cases of negative PR, public relation experts instead of focussing on enhancing their organizationâ€™s image,concentrate on tarnishing the reputation of business rivals. Negative PR also called as dirty tricks involves extensive research and information gathering.
Effective Public Relations
Public Relations is said to be effective under all the below circumstances:
Awareness: To create a positive image of an organization, the message must reach the public. Information must reach in its desired form for effective public relation.
Acceptance: The audience must understand what the message intends to communicate. They ought to agree with the message.
Action: The audience ought to give feedback to the organization accordingly.
To conclude public relations is nothing but an effort to present oneâ€™s organization in the best light.