If you are building your business’ brand, you’ve probably heard the term “public relations” and been told by your mentors that you need a strategy for it. You may be wondering what exactly is public relations and why it matters. What you need to know is that it is essential to creating and maintaining your business’ image to the public through the press or other mediums.
The truth is that public relations is more than just sharing photos and press releases with local media outlets. There are 12 functions that make up public relations:
1. Trusted counsel that advises and anticipates public opinions or issues that may impact you and your business.
2. Internal communication that engages employees and build trust within your organization.
3. Media relations to develop public trust and support through positive press.
4. Community relations to establish public trust and support of your business.
5. External communication to build the trust of customers, investors or anyone else who may be involved with you directly or indirectly.
6. Research, in order to strategize all actions taken as part of your public relations plan.
7. Plan, so that your public relations strategies are organized and effective.
8. Implement, execute and communicate any plans created to reach your followers.
9. Evaluate any strategies used for effectiveness and use these evaluations to inform future public relations tactics.
10. Publicity and special events are essential to building an image through public relations by giving your organization a human face.
11. Issues Management to manage issues that arise related to impacts on the company’s products, practices, performance and stakeholder expectations.
12. Crisis Communication to handle any crises that may affect your organization or the people involved with it.
Public relations is a complex, multi-faceted communication process that is worth taking the time to understand and invest in. It will help you to build relationships with others both inside and outside of your organization that are lasting and beneficial.