Yep, this is another rant on behalf of the Competent Public Relations party;)
This confusion is due to a lack of effort, and in some quarters the ignorance of some public relations practitioners themselves – which it has to be said is something of a paradox when you consider the principle of PR is to create clear understanding and awareness for an organisation, an individual or product/service.
If you asked the general public what they think ‘PR’ stands for they would probably say: press release. I also know if you asked public relations professionals the same question you would get around 30 – 40 percent of respondents giving you the same answer.
The fact is PR does not stand for ‘press release’. It stands for ‘public relations’.
Under the banner of ‘public relations’ sits a communications arsenal, from disciplines such as media relations and brand architecture, to CSR planning, perception management and audience engagement – utilising traditional, digital and social media platforms to achieve the desired outcome.
In real (my) terms public relations is about engaging with a pre-defined audience type whereby one discipline cannot be regurgitated for every situation (sometimes a press release will not do!).
Realistically and logically speaking, businesses who wish to grow and protect its market share have to develop a public relations strategy in line with their other third-party disciplines, such as advertising and marketing; or as a stand alone activity.
Here’s something to upset the digital bods out there: “One of the best ways to develop and maintain SEO is by using digital public relations methods! Sorry, but it needed to be said.
Unfortunately, until the 30 – 40 percent of public relations people stop thinking PR stands for press release it will remain an interesting challenge for the rest of us to create clear understanding and awareness for the benefits and power provided by real public relations activity.
Consumer pr, corporate pr or financial pr – no matter which area your business need fits into, public relations is the expandable, multi-faceted discipline which can cultivate public perception in order to level out the gap between brand perception and brand identity.