What is public relations? It has a reputation of being this ethereal thing that most businesses think they need, but in reality, it’s both easier and more complicated than that.

To start, let’s give public relations a definition. According to Hubspot.com:

“Public Relations professionals help a business or individual cultivate a positive reputation with the public through various unpaid or earned communications, including traditional media, social media, and in-person engagements. They also help clients defend their reputation during a crisis that threatens their credibility.”

– Caroline Forsey – blog.hubspot.com

All of that is to say, the traditional definition of PR is just this. Curating a positive reputation or perception of a company or individual through unpaid communications (think newspapers, magazines and TV segments).

Now it’s a bit murkier than that.

PR is often smashed into marketing, and people want to measure it the same way. Otherwise known as, how much $$$ did PR give us? but that’s not how PR works.

What is public relations? How can I get PR coverage? How do Public Relations affect my company?

Let’s break this down.

  • PR is all about the story.
    • While your priority may be talking about how awesome your company is, or what service you offer so that you can make more money, that is NOT what PR is. Think about it this way:
      • How does your company fit into a broader theme? Or, how does your company help move the plot of a story along?
        • We’ll break this down in another post, but this is the question you should be asking yourself when you get started.
  • PR is a part of marketing and communications, but should not be measured the same way.
    • Marketing always comes down to the return on investment (ROI). While this is useful, measuring PR this way doesn’t make sense. You’re not doing PR to make money directly, so why would you measure it that way?
      • PR is about building brand awareness and getting folks exciting about your product or service. Just because someone knows about you, or is excited about your product doesn’t mean they’re going to buy from you. Meaning, you shouldn’t track PR as if they were.
  • Your PR tone of voice is NOT the same as your advertising tone of voice.
    • PR is NOT about the hard sell. When you’re writing advertising copy, you include calls to action and hard deals that drive people to purchase, right? Don’t do that when you’re writing content for PR. Think about articles you read online, or TV segments. They tell you the facts, and inform you. They do not drive you to “SHOP NOW” or “LEARN MORE.”
      • Takeaway? It’s about education. Not sales.

By keeping all of these tidbits in mind, you’re well on your way to getting PR coverage for yourself! I’ll be talking more about PR and breaking things down more in-depth in later blog posts, so stay tuned. 💕

Want some help with your PR & Marketing strategy? Let me help you!

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