What is public relations?

11 October, 2018     Posted in: Public Relations

The definition of public relations

Public relations is about managing the image or reputation of a company or individual. A public relations professional helps promote a positive reputation which the public will see or hear through various unpaid or earned communications, through mainstream and nice media outlets, social media and in-person engagements. Public relations is used by businesses spanning many fields, from finance to the arts, and uses multiple channels to work effectively, including the recent focus on digital and online.

Adoni Media’s Director of Communications Clare Christensen said: “Public Relations is all about telling a story, managing the conversation which surrounds a brand and controlling the public’s perception of a company, product or individual. It’s a vital tool which can be used to promote and protect”.

What is digital public relations?

Digital public relations utilises digital and social technologies to manage positive awareness and understanding, reputation and brand of a company or individual. This is conducted by reaching audiences via digital media.

What is financial public relations?

A financial public relation is a public relation division of a company, responsible for generating coverage around the company’s investments and financial state, with an emphasis on the positive. A financial public relations specialist also interprets applicable laws and regulations for their clients. They generally work closely with lawyers in order defend the interpretations to the regulator if needed. They also deal with disclosure forms and press releases made available to journalists and the public. One of the main objectives for a financial PR specialist is to communicate a company’s message to the investment community.

What is online public relations?

Online public relations takes advantage of websites and other internet technologies including e-mail, discussion groups and remote kiosk terminals. Through an online presence, they manage the reputation of a company or individual.

Here are online PR best practices in three easy steps:

  1. Develop a newsworthy and informative media release

Write a media/press release that is newsworthy and informative without sounding promotional. Use keywords and messages, and provide a couple of links for further information. A good place to direct readers/journalists is to the company’s website.

  1. Target your media release

Prepare the release by selecting a related topic and identifying the target audience by geography and interest. A targeted release will result in more valuable traffic and conversions. This applies not just for the public but for journalists or news organisations you might be trying to gain coverage in.

  1. Be timely

Choose a date for your release to be sent. The release should be timely.

To help a company or individual build and maintain a positive image, PR professionals often utilise several online public relations techniques and tactics including:

These are generated to gain coverage in mainstream news media. Information that is received from TV, newspaper, magazines or any mainstream media is perceived more credible than advertisements. This is because most people consider the information trustworthy and almost as third-party endorsement of a product, person or organisation.

Sending e-newsletters with relevant information about the company and/or its product directly to the target audience is a common technique to further brand awareness. Email communication via newsletters allows the company to continuously maintain a strong relationship with the public. In the field of PR, newsletters are utilised to share updates and general information that may be of interest to the target audience.

Blogging has become an increasingly popular way to reach online audiences. Blogging allows the company or individual to create a two-way communication with their target audience.

Social media allows PR professionals to establish a direct communication with the public, consumers, and other target stakeholders.

There are several public relations strategies that are becoming more utilised than ever before as new online technologies arise. These include:

With the rise of social media sites like Instagram, there has been an increase in the number of individuals who have a large follower base to which they can advertise and promote products or companies. These people are known as ‘influencers’. When an influencer’s content, audience and aesthetic is well aligned and respected by a brand, collaborations with the influencer can become a very powerful PR tool for your company.

Online technologies have enabled brands to become more exposed to their consumers than ever before. While the digital space offers open channels of communication for you to promote yourself, it also comes with the potential of being scrutinised and more regularly criticised. It’s important to establish and communicate the ‘why’ behind your company and its decisions or actions. If consumers understand the purpose, the company is more likely to appeal to the audience.

Consumers have greater choice over what content they engage with, and brand needs to know what their audience wants. From responsive video series to interactive social media campaigns, brands need to be clever and more customised than ever before with their online content.

While the landscape is increasingly shifting towards the online presence, traditional press and media still remains the most credible source of information. Continue to utilise traditional media including TV, newspaper, radio and magazines in conjunction with your online PR strategies.

If you’re looking for a public relations professional to assist with your PR, enquire today!


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