Public relations (PR)

Ciaran Burke

Page written by AI. Reviewed by Ciaran Burke on February 21, 2024.

Definition

Public relations (PR) is the strategic practice of managing communication between an organisation and its various stakeholders, including the public, media, investors, customers, employees, and government entities. 

What is public relations?

The primary goal of PR is to build and maintain a positive reputation for the organisation, enhance its credibility and trustworthiness, and foster mutually beneficial relationships with its target audiences. PR professionals listen to stakeholders’ concerns, gather feedback, and engage in two-way communication to build trust and goodwill.

PR professionals engage with journalists, editors, and other media professionals to generate positive media coverage for their organisation. They pitch story ideas, arrange interviews, and distribute press releases to convey key messages and news updates to the media and the public. They develop compelling content, such as press releases, articles, blog posts, social media posts, and multimedia materials, to communicate the organisation’s messages effectively. 

In times of crisis, PR professionals play a key role in managing the organisation’s response, providing timely and transparent communication, and reduce reputational damage. They develop crisis communication plans, coordinate with internal and external stakeholders, and monitor public sentiment to address issues swiftly and effectively.

Lastly, PR professionals promote the organisation’s CSR initiatives, such as sustainability efforts, philanthropy, and community engagement, to demonstrate its commitment to social and environmental responsibility. CSR activities contribute to building a positive corporate image and strengthening stakeholder relationships.

Example of public relations

Let’s say a new tech startup has just launched a revolutionary app that helps people manage their finances more effectively. To generate positive publicity and increase awareness about their app, the company’s PR team crafts a press release highlighting the app’s unique features and benefits.

The PR team then reaches out to various media outlets to pitch the story. They also leverage social media platforms to share the press release and engage with their target audience.

As a result of their efforts, several journalists and influencers are interested in the story and decide to write articles and reviews about the app. These articles attract attention to the startup, driving traffic to their website and increasing downloads of the app.

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