What is PR?
PR = Public relations. PR is an interesting field, one of those that the world just cannot seem to get enough of. “What is public relations?”, “what does it do?”, “how does it work”, “why is it needed” and more are just some of the burning questions pertaining to Public Relations, or PR as it is commonly know. The interest surrounding PR stems from the fact that while all of us have a vague idea and generic understanding of what PR is, very few laymen actually understand the full scope of PR.
Public Relations refers to any activity or process undertaken by an individual or an organization to help build, improve and maintain the positive image of an individual, organization or come in front of the publics who are interested. The term “publics”, in PR, refers to the people who are directly or indirectly involved with the person or the organization in some give-and-take process and whose opinion has the power to affect the success and stability of the person or organization. Public Relations, thus, is all about maintaining positive relations with the people who wield influence over deciding the future of the subject of the PR activity.
PR is essential for anybody and everybody who needs to maintain a favorable public persona. Celebrities hire PR specialists all the time to ensure they are represented in a good light in the press. Politicians need PR teams to maintain favor with voters. Governments are the largest clients of PR firms because their very power in a democracy stems from how much they are liked by the people. Businesses can thrive or be ruined on the basis of their PR strategies.
Business leaders are some of the most concerned with Public Relations. When it comes to the success of a business organization, there are many people to be taken into consideration- customers, partner alliances, clients, prospective clients, target market, official groups, the media, government bodies and so on. Gaining an insight into the concerns and desires of each of these groups and being able to meet their expectations, while also keeping a track of how these interest groups view your organization is what PR is all about. And in situations when the opinion of any of these interest groups is not too favorable, PR also concerns itself with repairing the damage.
When it comes to business, PR is the act of spreading any news or publicity, generally through the media, about one’s company, one’s services and products in a positive light, which in turn will enable the business to develop strong bonds with its publics. As is obvious, PR is intrinsically linked with the news and business media, and maintaining good relations with the press is crucial to effective PR strategies.
Given how crucial PR can be to making or breaking a business, most organizations hire teams of PR specialists or have an in-house PR team managing their PR concerns. From keeping strong links with the press to furnishing media publications with positive stories, from seeking free publicity opportunities to managing any image crisis that might arise, a PR team is indispensable for any business.
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