It’s every PR person’s favourite situation – having to explain what it is that you actually do to someone at a cocktail bar or beauty salon, only to be met by a slightly confused look, short answer response or worse – more questioning! It’s become even harder to give a short succinct answer to this relatively simple question.
Our clients generally have a good understanding of what it is we do but as our roles diversify it is important business owners understand the scope of our capabilities. Given how hard it is to explain all of the many things that PR is, perhaps PR is better defined by what it is not.
Here is a short list of five things that PR is not:
1. PR is NOT just media engagement: Reputation management for brands requires integration across multiple platforms which is why some PR firms are diversifying into the creative space. We can and do create large scale concepts that can be rolled out across social media, media relations, events and creative marketing
2. PR is NOT just reactive: Creating and maintaining a brand personality and reputation requires a proactive strategy. It is not enough to simply ‘react’ to traditional and social media enquiries
3. PR is NOT an island: PR, especially consumer PR, works best when integrated with a solid marketing strategy. It’s important that companies invest in getting the overall brand and target demographic right before they begin a PR campaign. The conceptual direction for an integrated campaign can come from an advertising or PR agency, but ideally all elements should be present and backed up by considered branding and market positioning
4. PR is NOT instant: Creating a quality image for a brand product or service takes lead time. You should expect some results from your PR campaign within one to two months, but it takes six to twelve months to have a real impact on consumer perceptions
5. PR is NOT a quick fix: If your company is in trouble or has suffered from bad press PR can help you, but this works best when a considered crisis communications strategy is already in place. Where a risk can be identified, we recommend implementing a crisis strategy from the outset that we can quickly implement in the case of a crisis. If you engage us to fix an existing disaster, we may only be able to limit the collateral damage, rather than preventing it from occurring in the first place.