Public Relations - Business Elevation or Devastation?

So what is PR?

To me, the best definition comes from the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA):

"Public relations is a distinctive management function that helps establish and maintain mutual lines of communication, understanding, acceptance, and cooperation between an organization and its public; involves the management of problems or issues; helps management keep informed on and responsive to public opinion; defines and emphasizes the responsibility of management to serve public interest; helps management keep abreast of and effectively employs change, serving as an early warning system to help anticipate trends; and uses research and sound and ethical communication techniques as its principal tools."

5 Basic PR Principles To Consider:

    Effective PR programs are based on facts and reality that put the public interests in the forefront.
    All communication between the organization and its public must be based on integrity, corporate social responsibility (CSR), honesty, and fairness.
    Considered by many as the original ombudsman, the PR professional that you hire for your organization must be effective at not only market research but also communicating information to all stakeholders and resolving public concerns efficiently.
    PR practitioners are obligated to explain organizational issues to the public before these concerns become disastrous.
    The best PR professionals will be ethical and employ a variety of social science techniques, such as psychology, semantics, sociology, communication, etc.

5 Examples Of PR Activities:

    Public Affairs - deals with interactions between the organization and government agencies.
    Advertising - assist with conveying intended advertising message(s) through mediums, such as the Internet and social media.
    Press Agentry - involves the planning of activities in an effort to entice target markets to a certain idea, product, or service.
    Promotions - work to gain support for the goods offered by a particular firm.
    Marketing - helps with the planning and execution of the organization's marketing mix.

5 Reasons Why Is PR Valuable?

    PR creates an open dialogue between an organization and the communities that they affect.
    Encourages mutual trust, respect, and stakeholders work towards a common goal of improving society as a whole.
    Reminds leaders and management of ethical and corporate responsibilities in an effort to meet the interests and needs of the public.
    PR professionals assist with tackling organizational issues pertaining to reputation and relationship management.
    PR programs help numerous communities globally through volunteer work, donations, food-drives, etc.

Above all else...

PR practitioners must always display a ethical social conscience capable of actively disclosing information about the organization, especially information that could be detrimental to the public it serves. Remember, every PR program should be based on reality and facts. No organization should incorporate PR programs that mislead the public only to achieve organizational goals and objectives. Doing so would ultimately harm the company's reputation, including credibility.

In the end, I believe renowned Soviet physicist, Yakov Zeldovich, summed it up best when he stated that "without publicity there is no prosperity." So make sure that your organization lives long and prosper by incorporating effective PR programs today!

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