Latest > What is public relations?

9th Jul 2023

5 min read

What is public relations?

In today’s ever-changing business landscape, effective communication and reputation management plays a crucial role in helping organisations stand out and achieve success.

Public Relations (PR) has always been a powerful tool, that can be used to build and maintain relationships with key stakeholders, enhance brand visibility, and manage public perception. That is when it is used correctly. On the other hand, a PR disaster, and the resulting crisis communications, can single-handedly reduce a carefully built-up company to nothing.

So what exactly is Public Relations? Usually abbreviated to PR, it can be defined as the strategic management of communication and relationships between a business and its target audience. This may be other businesses (often referred to as B2B) or to the consumer market (B2C). PR involves the creation and maintenance of a positive image, utilising mutually beneficial connections, and managing any challenges which may arise.

The benefits of public relations are truly never-ending, but can be summed up within the following:

Reputation Enhancement
One of the primary benefits of PR lies in its ability to shape and protect an organisation’s reputation. Through proactive and consistent comms, PR professionals can build up a favourable perception of the brand among potential customers, employees, and other stakeholders.

Increased Brand Visibility
PR activities have the ability to significantly boost brand visibility by securing strategically earned media coverage. Even in 2023, securing slots on local radio and TV still hold incredible value to clients that simply need more brand awareness. This increased exposure can lead to enhanced brand recognition and credibility, ultimately attracting new customers and improving business opportunities.

Effective Crisis Management
PR plays a critical role in safeguarding a business’s reputation in times of crisis or challenging situations. Skilled PR professionals employ crisis communication strategies to address issues promptly, minimise negative publicity, and restore stakeholder confidence. Without a comprehensive crisis communication strategy put in place, businesses could find that an issue becomes a far bigger deal than was ever deemed possible.

So that’s the essence of public relations and what it’s all about, but how are those key factors of public relations achieved? The answer is through many different techniques.

Media Relations

At the heart of any PR strategy is a strong media relations ideology. Media relations is the art of PR, pure and simple. It involves developing and managing relationships with journalists and media publications or broadcasters in order to secure positive coverage for the client. PR agencies remain constantly proactive, whether by pitching newsworthy stories, looking for “newsjacking” opportunities based on the news of the day or setting up interviews for long-form features.

Content Creation
Establishing a brand image extends far beyond earned media in print, magazines, online platforms, and broadcast media. Instead, PRs utilise various channels, such as blogs and whitepapers, to create compelling content that can add an extra layer of depth to their client’s brand, if done correctly. This helps organisations establish thought leadership by showcasing the expertise held within the business, as well as their corporate values and responsibilities. More and more, PRs are seeing this kind of content find its way to light in video and audio formats, with podcasts, in particular, proving popular, rather than the traditional written format.

Social Media Engagement
Social media platforms have played a critical role for PRs and agencies alike over the past 15 years. By actively managing and engaging with social media profiles across different platforms, businesses can foster meaningful interactions with their desired audiences.

Given the ever-changing nature of social media, from the developments at Twitter within the last six months, and the persistent rise of TikTok, it’s crucial that organisations carefully consider their messaging and approach to effectively navigate both the nuances in each platform, and the changing landscape of social media as a whole.

In today’s fiercely competitive climate, public relations is indispensable in helping businesses thrive. Without effective communication, reputation management, and relationship-building, most companies would struggle to run successfully. Through a strong understanding of the benefits PR can bring, the implementation of techniques such as media relations, content creation and social media strategy can help businesses consciously identify and mould their brand image as desired, rather than being at the mercy of outside forces.

It is with the support of skilled public relations professionals, that businesses can navigate the ever-shifting landscape and stay one step ahead of their competitors.

Want to utilise the power of PR for yourself? Situated in the heart of Nottingham’s historic Lace Market, we are a team of public relations and social media experts with a wealth of knowledge and exceptional track record across B2B and B2C portfolios. The team combines a mix of communications professionals from a tapestry of backgrounds, from journalism and marketing to stakeholder comms and social media. Get in touch with us now to find out how we can help.

Share post

Written by

Conor Davies

Ever since he began crafting football match reports at the age of 7, Conor has always had a passion for writing and creating strong pieces of content. The feeling of landing a huge piece of coverage, too, always goes down well.

View all authors

More from Eden PR

How to create a winning social media strategy 

Read more

LinkedIn newsletters and articles: are they right for your business?

Read more

How to measure the success of a PR campaign

Read more

How to launch your successful podcast series this year

Read more

Measuring what matters – social media metrics

Read more