Business PR

So what is PR anyway?

Posted by Deborah | May 6th, 2014 | No responses

As a journalist, it was all very easy having family understand the career I’d signed up to.

I had a byline, a tangible product at the end of my working day, and a place in an industry which seemed to fascinate those I met.

Cut to the world of PR, and it’s funny how apparently confusing that career arena is to the outside world.

Cast aside the fact my dad still seems to believe I have something to do with personnel (no dad, you’re thinking HR…) and there’s still a vast audience of people in the business community who don’t quite get what it is we PR’s do.

So good ol’ Wikipedia refers to PR as “Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization and the public”.

It’s a useful description but does it really capture the full gambit of what we PR professionals aim to do for our clients?

The truth is Public Relations is a many and varied subject matter, covering all sorts of mediums and practices – primarily with the aim of raising profile and protecting reputation.

It’s evolved dramatically in the last decade, and, with social media now so common place and more businesses and individuals able to play an every day part in raising their profile, that change will continue apace.

Back when I left the newsroom to start in public relations consultancy, most companies saw engaging you in PR as a means of tasking you to write press releases which would feature in the newspaper.

Even that short time ago, they weren’t asking about a mix of on and offline strategies.

They weren’t asking about ppc campaigns, reputation management, stakeholder relationships…and rarely even about internal communications.

These days, my vision of PR and what we in the field cover, is so very different – and continually evolving.

And that’s as it should be.

If an agency were accepting being nothing more than a mere press release machine for a client, I’d be seriously wondering just how engaged they were in the brand for whom they were delivering.

If you don’t care about how every aspect of marketing and PR could potentially cross over to be of benefit to your client’s ongoing journey, then perhaps this evolving interesting and rewarding career is actually not for you.

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