Ironically, the public relations industry tends to garner quite a bit of bad publicity. People often muddy PR and it’s myriad of subcategories with the notion of manipulating information to create hype, commentary and media coverage, which isn’t the case at all. Public relations defined is the “strategic management of relationships between an organisation and its diverse publics, through the use of communication, to achieve mutual understanding, realise organisational goals and serve the public interest.”
This definition aptly highlights the importance of PR for small businesses because it focuses on the relationships a business needs to forge with the public/their consumer. Small businesses need this relationship created and maintained because it is the public that inevitably purchases the goods or services offered. As mentioned, PR has many different subcategories that can be applied. Between investor and community relations, to crisis and internal communications it is important to understand the different facets of PR and how they can be applied to your goals.
Many business owners already use communication tools to engage with their consumers such as social media without realising they are already utilising public relations tactics. The confusion surrounding PR can easily be aided by research (the Internet is a treasure trove for PR knowledge and tips), or even contacting a PR professional to discuss media training, DIY PR packages and contracts.
As former Apple executive Jean Louise Gassee said, “advertising is saying you’re good; PR is getting someone else to”. When applied correctly, PR can be a priceless tool to your business bottom line and goals.
- Sales and marketing
- Public relations
PR Basics for Small Businesses
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