Next level communications business ‘Public Relations’

Traditional Public Relations (PR) Vs. Digital PR. Photo source: RDW Group
Traditional Public Relations (PR) Vs. Digital PR. Photo source: RDW Group
9 Min Read

While everyone seems to know the term public relations (PR), not everyone understands what it means. Though many organizations understand that PR is a great way to build on their marketing strategies and improve their online reputation.

Very few know much about what PR involves, or why certain companies invest so much time and effort into staying on top of their strategies. Public relations are about sending the right messages to the right places and people, to build your brand reputation.

What is Public Relations (PR)

Public relations (PR) are the way organizations, companies, and individuals communicate with the public and media. A PR specialist communicates with the target audience directly or indirectly through media to create and maintain a positive image and create a strong relationship with the audience. Examples include press releases, newsletters, public appearances, etc.

Public Relations professionals help a business or individual cultivate a positive reputation with the public through various unpaid or earned communications, including traditional media, social media, and in-person engagements. They also help clients defend their reputation during a crisis that threatens their credibility. Advertising is what you pay for; publicity is what you pray for!

PR specialists and firms use many tools and techniques to boost their client’s public image and help them form a meaningful relationship with the target audience. To achieve that, they use tools such as news releases and statements for media, newsletters, organization, and participation at public events conferences, conventions, awards, etc.

PR specialists of course also utilize Internet tools such as social media networks and blogs. Through the mentioned tools, PR specialists give the target audience a better insight into their client’s activities and products/services as well as increase publicity.

Public relations is not a phenomenon of the 20th century, but rather has historical roots. Most textbooks consider the establishment of the Publicity Bureau in 1900 to be the founding of the public relations profession.

The Effect on the PR

The public reacts very differently to an add then to a newspaper article or a TV report. They know very well when they are reading/looking an add and the information they are communicated is perceived with a certain degree of skepticism.

They know that the add wants to persuade them to buy a particular product or service and will either believe or disbelieve the information they are communicated. But when they are communicated news about a new product or service through a third party, for example, newspapers or online articles they perceive it as informative and worthy of their attention.

A press release, for instance, does not directly encourage them to buy but it often achieves just that by creating a positive image about the product/service or its manufacturer, or both.

Why You Need Public Relations

According to Public Relations News, Public relations are the management function which evaluates public attitudes, identifies the policies and procedures of an individual or an organization with the public interest, and plans and executes a program of action to earn public understanding and acceptance.”

While the public part implies the inclusion of things like public affairs, community relations, investor relations, public press conferences, media events, internal communications, and crisis communications, it also involves a lot of behind-the-scenes, non-public activity.

It could involve simply the writing of a press release, but it could also involve coordinating media contacts for an event or conference, securing credentials, lobbying for article placement, and the like.

Sometimes public relations are an effort to influence the public. This is especially true for political action groups, associations, and other groups. Sometimes public relations are community relations. Just look around your community to see how many companies and organizations have a community affairs initiative or a person in charge with a related title.

In larger, publicly held firms, this person is sometimes the director of investor relations. Investors are a public entity, so in this case, public relations are appropriate. What the public wants to hear is a good story. Good Public Relations (PR) is the telling of a good story.

The better the story, the better the acceptance by the public and the better the public relations. Of course, if the story is especially appealing to those that could be your clients, then you could have a Public Relations (PR) homerun. In this case, it is communication with your target market that may or may not be very public.

Public Relations (PR)’s importance is changing, according to The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR (Harper Business). American marketing strategists Al and Laura Ries argue that public relations have become the most effective way to build a brand.

Well-known brands like The Body Shop, PlayStation, and Harry Potter spend little on brand-name advertising. The same is true for many entrepreneurial companies like yours. Business owners become known in their respective fields of concentration many times through public relations and the associated media generated.

Public Relations (PR) is communication in many ways with your target market. Maybe instead of public relations, we ought to call it target market relations or TMR. You may be communicating about a new product, spreading the news about your company, or making a major announcement.

You want to communicate publicly, but the only people you care about are potential prospects, customers, or investors, in the case of a partnership or a public company. One exception may be communicated to a group that you are trying to influence in the best interest of your company and target market. An example of this is the lobbying government.

Define what your public or target is in your public relations effort. This is best done by defining your target market and then any sub-segment. Lining up publications and broadcasts with the market and the segments will define what the public is for your public relations.

The bottom line is to get the word out about you, your company, your products, and services to those who could potentially buy from you. Public relations are just one part of marketing, as marketing is made up of many things. The good news about Public Relations (PR) is the cost and the effectiveness when it’s in front of your target market.

PR Vs Advertising

Public Relations (PR) and advertising often go hand in hand but they are two completely different things with a completely different goal and overall effect. While advertising is exclusively focused on the promotion of products or services to encourage the target audience to buy, PR is specialized in communication with the public and media.

Difference between PR and Advertising: Just like advertising, PR often helps increase the sales as well and may include elements of marketing. However, it is mainly focused on creating positive publicity about a particular company, organization, or individual and maintains a good reputation in the public.

By doing so, PR helps create a relationship between let’s say a commercial company and its customers who are more likely to choose the products from a company they have a good opinion over those from a firm they have never heard of before or heard something negative about it.

Cost of Public Relations

Either a professionally led marketing or Public Relations (PR) campaign is inexpensive. The cost depends greatly on who you hire, but generally, PR is a lot less expensive than advertising. But it is also true that PR has a lot less control over the way their clients are presented by the media in comparison to paid ads that oblige the media to publish them unchanged.

At the same time, a press release is published only once by a single media, while the adds can be published over and over again. But given that press releases and other Public Relations (PR) tools to attract publicity usually achieve a greater impact on the target audience, there is no need for repetition of the same stories over and over again to attract the attention of the public like this is usually the case with ads.

Also, an article or TV cover of purely informative nature is more likely to lead the target audience to believe the content of the adds. As a result, Public Relations (PR) campaigns often proceed or/and accompany marketing campaigns or are an integral part of the advertising strategy.

Guest post: About author

Mizanur Rahman Sohel

CEO, Times PR and Head of Online, The Daily Jugantor (Bangladesh)

Mizanur Rahman Sohel started his career as a writer in 2002 through Rahasya Patrika. In 2004, he started his career as a journalist for the local daily newspaper of Pabna in Daily Bibrity. After then he served as the executive editor of the Daily Ajker Pabna. In his long 18-year career as a journalist, he has worked in several national media houses besides Daily Jugantar, Daily Ittefaq, Weekly Robbar,, etc. For most of his career in journalism, he has covered information technology and telecommunications news. Mizanur Rahman Sohel has been serving on the executive committee of Bangladesh ICT Journalists Forum (BIJF), an organization of IT journalists in Bangladesh, since 2017. He writes books as well as journalism. He wrote a total of 26 books on self-improvement, business education, and information technology. His notable books are hacking and hacker, 101 ways to success, care of pregnant mother & baby, etc. In beside journalism, he made some success stories in a different sector. He is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Times PR. Top Bangladeshi public relations agency Times PR is working jointly as a PR company in Bangladesh and India. Times PR already working with more than 100 local and international brands and making their value globally.

What is Public Relations?

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