What Is Public Relations? Types, Strategies, Techniques & Functions

Do you want to broaden the scope of your company? Do you want to introduce your company to new people who may be interested in your services and products?

Let us introduce you to the world of public relations (PR).

Customers, partners, journalists, philanthropists, politicians and the general public. These are all examples of individuals with whom an organization interacts. Regardless of their size or sector, all companies need public relations.

What Is Public Relations?

Public relations (PR) is the process of using media outlets to support your company and cultivate a favorable public image. In times of crisis, PR is also the method of handling the organization’s brand and communications.

PR is like branding in that it is how brands control the spread of their information. The key distinction is that public relations is concerned with contact and legitimacy, while branding is concerned with visual elements such as logos, blogs, and marketing materials.

Brands use a variety of media outlets to handle their public relations, i.e., communication and reputation.

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Types of Public Relations – Owned vs. Paid vs. Earned Media

Public relations can be divided into three categories: owned, paid, and earned media. Each type strives to establish a positive brand image, but they use different strategies to achieve it.

You should include all three in your public relations strategies because they offer various ways of reaching, communicating, and building confidence with your target audience.

What Is Owned Media?

Owned media is any content that your company owns. It’s always the go-to tactic for companies seeking to launch a public relations campaign.

It’s understandable since it’s arguably the most appropriate form of PR-related media to concentrate on because you have complete leverage.

Owned media consists of the following:

  • Posts on social media
  • Content for a blog
  • Copywriting for a website
  • Newsletters sent via email

Owned media serves as a “home base” for public relations efforts. When people write about your brand or products, they will almost certainly mention or link to your owned media.

What Is Paid Media?

In the marketing world, it’s not unusual to pay to advertise your content. It’s no different when it comes to public relations.

Paid media is when you pay to get your content seen. Promoting owned media is a common procedure.

The following are examples of paid media:

  • Influencer marketing
  • Media ads
  • Pay-per-click (PPC)

Investing in PR content is becoming increasingly common. Most social networks are reducing organic reach for business accounts. Hence paid media is a great way to make sure your content gets in front of the people you want to see it.

What Is Earned Media?

Earned media is a strategy for increasing brand awareness across social media. It’s arguably the most effective PR strategy for establishing your brand. It’s basically word-of-mouth.

The most difficult form of PR media to get is earned media. It takes a lot of time, consistency and hard work to achieve, which is why it’s called “earned.”

The following are examples of earned media:

  • Mentions in the press and evaluations of the sector
  • Customers’ praise on social media
  • High search engine rankings

Like marketing, all these media outlets provide ways to use PR to raise brand awareness, generate leads, and turn those leads into paying customers.

Now let’s focus on the differences.

Public Relations vs. Marketing

While public relations and marketing have similar behavior and strategies, their objectives are vastly different. The primary aim of public relations is to improve your company’s image. The primary aim of marketing, on the other hand, is to increase revenue.

As opposed to marketing, public relations does not necessarily result in increased sales. It usually promotes goods or services indirectly by disseminating press releases and speaking at industry events. Alternatively, rather than enhancing the company’s image, marketing strategies aim to increase sales and profits.

Customers don’t purchase products; they purchase brands. As a result, combining PR and marketing produces the best results: someone usually identifies with your brand as a result of your PR activities and turns into a customer due to your marketing efforts.

According to studies, brand quality will result in a 20% increase in sales. Combining your PR and marketing strategies could yield similar results.

Let’s talk about the different forms of public relations you can use to support your company and develop and manage your credibility.

Public Relations Strategies & Techniques

PR strategies and techniques mostly include the ones mentioned below.

  1. Business events
  2. Corporate and social responsibility
  3. Crisis management
  4. Community relations
  5. Employee relations
  6. Media relations
  7. Social media

1. Business Events

Business activities provide ways to advertise products or services while also increasing brand awareness. Events, whether your organization holds or attends them, are valuable sales opportunities. You will meet prospective customers and captivate existing ones face-to-face at events.

Speaking engagements at events can also help elevate your brand by raising brand awareness and sharing unique thought leadership or data-driven content.

2. Corporate & Social Responsibility

Corporate and social responsibility is like community relations, but it emphasizes responsible corporate practices, environmental stewardship, and philanthropy on a local, regional, and global level.

This is a vital aspect of public relations because it directly impacts how people perceive the brand.

3. Crisis Management

Recognizing, handling and trying to counteract negative communication and sentiment around a company situation is the subject of crisis management. Anything that has the potential to damage or destroy your brand’s image should be handled through a public relations agency.

PR’s crisis management role is crucial, and it should be done efficiently, consistently, and strategically.

4. Community Relations

Community relations refers to building good relationships with the surrounding community. This may include volunteer work, gifts, special offers or something else that increases customer loyalty and builds a strong connection with the community.

5. Employee Relations

Internal PR, or employee relations, is the process of engaging with and fostering a positive employee view of your business. Employee newsletters or emails, employee incentives and benefits, free training and skill-building opportunities, employee appreciation activities and collaboration with unions or employee organizations can all be part of this method.

Employee relations not only keeps your workers motivated, hardworking and loyal, but it also allows them to lobby for your business, which can lead to more customers and better employees.

6. Media Relations

Media relations consists of building good relationships with journalists, newspapers, and other news sources. Writing press releases, coordinating press releases, and arranging interviews are all part of this operation.

This increases awareness about your company and products and allows the media to promote your brand for free.

7. Social Media

Social media can be used for earned and paid publicity. For most businesses, social media can be a valuable public relations (and marketing) tool — it’s a great way to target customers, convert leads, exchange content, and deal with crises.

Your social media activity is public, whether you’re sharing a post with your audience or communicating with a single customer. That’s why having a social media plan in place that keeps the messages consistent, constructive, and reliable is important. This is where public relations firms come in.

Now you need to know about your PR agency: the one in charge of these various forms of PR.

Role of a Public Relations Agency

Public relations agencies are in charge of developing, implementing, and tracking public relations strategies and tactics. They usually write press releases, handle crisis communications, and supervise a team of other public relations experts who maintain the company’s public image.

Let’s talk about the skills and responsibilities that the public relations agency would be responsible for.

Public Relations Agency Skills

Some skills shared by successful PR agencies are mentioned below.

1. Excellent Communication Skills

One of the main goals of public relations is to improve the company’s image. To do so, public relations professionals spend a significant amount of time speaking about your business at public events, news conferences, and other gatherings. As a result, outstanding communication is a crucial skill for PR professionals.

2. Great Writing Skills

PR agencies should also be able to communicate effectively in writing.

Good writing skills can aid in conveying the right message to promote the brand, as PR agencies are responsible for writing press releases and company-related news. This is particularly useful for online PR and digital marketing, where you’ll need to write blog posts, website material and press releases to gain attention.

3. Thoughtful Creativity

In the field of public relations, innovation goes a long way, like in marketing. Great public relations firms are innovative and know how to develop a plan that stands out from the crowd, which is critical since a unique story or perspective can attract media attention.

4. Robust Research Skills

People could be talking about your brand without actually referencing it because public relations is a social industry. PR professionals with strong research experience can identify and capitalize on these opportunities.

When it comes to preparing your PR strategy, PR firms need to do a lot of analysis. Strong research skills are required because they may need additional information, statistics, and data points to enhance the power of their owned media.

Public Relations Agency Tasks

Your PR agency’s day-to-day responsibilities can vary depending on your business, ongoing PR campaigns, the size of your PR staff and other factors. However, the following is a list of what they often include:

  • Creating press releases to reveal important business announcements.
  • Creating business fact sheets and media kits to submit to media teams to create brand awareness.
  • Providing in-house and external staff with media training.
  • Attending business meetings and speaking at them, as well as representing the brand at trade shows, recruitment events, and so on.
  • Identifying and reviewing media coverage, as well as supporting the content through owned and paid media channels.

Public relations agencies are also in charge of monitoring and evaluating their public relations activities. The key performance indicators (KPIs) mentioned below will assist your public relations agency in analyzing and improve your public relations strategies.

How To Measure Public Relations? 8 Public Relations KPIs to Track

 

It can be difficult to assess the public relations success and effect. These KPIs will assist you in tracking your public relations activities and determining the efficacy of your public relations strategy.

  1. Backlinks
  2. Brand mentions
  3. Conversions
  4. Domain authority
  5. Sentiment
  6. Site traffic
  7. Social media engagement
  8. Social shares

1. Backlinks

Backlinks will help you figure out when and how your brand has been listed. Backlinks are links to your website from other websites that have listed your brand, making it easy for readers to click through and visit your website and easy for you to track.

When it comes to backlinks, you’ll get more than just new traffic; you might even see a boost in your SEO rankings.

2. Brand Mentions

When anyone mentions your products, it is referred to as a brand mention. This metric is significant because it allows you to assess brand recognition.

Brand mentions may appear in conventional news coverage, business or personal blogs, reviews, or social media. Some mentions may be tagged or hyperlinked, while others may not connect back to your brand or website, forcing you to search for them.

3. Conversions

Although the number of new customers gained directly as a result of your PR efforts is difficult to quantify, it is certainly worth looking into.

You will find out where your customers come from by conducting a post-purchase survey and asking how they learned about you or by using specific methods to learn about your customers’ conversion paths or purchase routes.

4. Domain Authority

The SEO ranking of your website and how it performs in search results are referred to as domain authority.

It is a useful indicator of how your website compares to your rivals, and it is measured from 1 to 100 (with 100 being the highest). Your website will rank higher in search results if your domain authority is high.

Links to your site (backlinks), links from your site to other well-ranked websites, and the age of your site all contribute to domain authority. Although you can’t make your website appear older by using PR, you can use it to draw backlinks and include links in your content.

5. Sentiment

Sentiment, which is a synonym for “opinion” or “attitude,” is a metric that tracks how your brand is listed. Though brand mentions and backlinks help with brand recognition and SEO, sentiment distinguishes positive from negative mentions.

Being mindful of negative press is at the very least good practice. Tracking sentiment will help you figure out what your customers are thinking about your business and whether you need to fix any issues or concerns.

6. Site Traffic

The amount of traffic to your website is an indication that your public relations efforts were successful. Your public relations activities are reaching your target customers if people learn about your brand through earned media and visit your website.

Track your site traffic once press releases and other efforts go live while you run PR campaigns. Check your site analytics to see where your visitors came from, and try to do the same in the future.

7. Social Media Engagement

Views, impressions, likes, shares, and comments are only a few examples of social media interaction.

This data demonstrates the degree of brand recognition and interest within your target audience. It also informs you when your target audience is most involved, which is when you can post and interact with them.

8. Social Shares

Social media interaction is not the same as social media shares. When your audience shares something from your website or blog on social media, this is known as social sharing.

This is an important metric since it indicates whether your audience likes your content enough to share it on social media. It’s a simple indicator of your audience’s perception of your brand.

Pay attention to which types of content are often exchanged when looking at social shares. This will give you an idea of what types of content your audience likes the most and what types of content you can make more of.

Build Your Own Effective Public Relations Strategy

With all these strategies, techniques, and strategy-building tips, you must be ready to start your new public relations strategy!

However, one thing to remember is that public relations is an ongoing, iterative technique, not a one-time project. In reality, the best public relations entails a variety of activities, techniques, and strategies. It takes time to see results, much like marketing.

At prMEDIA REACH, we strive to uphold your brand’s image and boost your brand recognition by employing public relations best practices within an affordable price range.

Check out our public relations pricing packages to explore the range of PR services that we offer.

You’ll soon see more mentions, backlinks, and general buzz if you have a good plan and a dedication to spreading the word about your business. And this is a fantastic way to build a memorable brand.

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