As you may have noticed I am currently a college student writing this blog for a class. What I may not have mentioned is that my major is actually Public Relations (Yes, I always capitalize Public Relations because I must; don’t question).
This go round it is time for a listicle (a popular list-type blog with multiple points often accompanied by GIFs/Images) and of course, it must relate to my chapter title. Although I don’t quite cover actually writing for Public Relations, I wanted to provide you, my lovely readers, a peak into the business world …..a world that desperately needs Public Relations.
Presenting you an informative listicle:
You Know You Need a Public Relations Professional When…
You Don’t Think You Need a PR Professional
To be frank, most people don’t have a clue what Public Relations is, much less what a Public Relation Professional does. So, of course, most people and businesses don’t think they need PR. To use the updated description, “Public Relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics,” as stated by the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA).
Public Relations Professionals assist in everything under the sun, and then some. When I explain my major, I like to think of the middle man; someone who stands in between friends in a fight, who voices the opinions of both parties, who can compromise and be the outside source, a translator, the department store, the second opinion and ultimately the voice of reason. Although my definition is my own and maybe a bit confusing for you, think of the coolest job you could possibly dream of…… Lion Tamer? Top CEO? Famous Artist? Well, wrap all those into one and you get a PR Professional.
Now, if you had a business and needed to better share your brand, reach your audience or even build a presence, wouldn’t you want a PR Specialist on your team? The answer is yes, yes you would.
You’re Dealing with People
Public Relations deal with the publics. Do you know what makes up the public?
As a person or business that deals with customers, the assistance of Public Relations Professionals will improve your…. public relations *Chuckle* …obviously.
If your business doesn’t directly deal with people, then that is even more of a reason why you need Public Relations Professionals to see where you actually do deal with people and the general public (This is especially important for companies that deal with potential health or safety hazards and factories with multiple employees)
Stovall described one of my favorite aspects about the job as a PR Professional by stating, “They seek to serve not only the good of their organization but also the public good.” Reaching your target audience and the general publics is difficult if you don’t know how to reach them, the best methods to do so or even who your audience is. It is right in the definition I gave you that PR builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics (PRSA), so of course they handle all the analyzing and organization of who, what, when, where, why and even how as well.
You Have No Effort in Dealing with the Public
Whether you like it or not, the public is involved in your business and can comment on it quite easily today with technology and social media. If a business doesn’t have social media, or, even worse, has bad social media management then it is time to step up your game. Facing the reality that it is the 21st century and that technology is a major factor in society will help you come to terms with how to better connect with your customers and audience.
Having Public Relations Professionals, and in cases such as these having Social Media Specialists, will help improve business-customer relationships, gain quick feedback and insight, possibly lower complaints and even help better establish the businesses brand and image.
My absolute favorite companies who are dominating social media with their brand humor and customer relations are Wendys and Old Spice; be ready to laugh but take notice of their followers and comment tone.
Your Efforts Made Things Worse
Two major instances I like to reference where stronger Public Relations efforts could truly have helped were the Oxy Humidifier Scandal in South Korea and the Blue Bell Ice Cream recall in the United States. Though different in situation and outcome, I think these examples are great for proving how important your efforts must be when dealing with the publics, especially when circumstances are at their worst.
The damage is already done, but what happens afterwards must be thoughtfully considered. This is why you need professionals who care about both the business AND the public instead of one or the other.
Something Unmentionable… Hits the Fan.
A specific task for a Public Relations Professional is crisis communication or crisis management. Even if nothing is wrong with you or your business now, something could go wrong, so it’s always better to prepare and be ready for the worst then to wait for trouble to hit and make things worse off for yourself.
It’s general knowledge that things happen and if you don’t take the right steps afterwards all your effort is wasted- either because you didn’t analyze your audience well enough or take more consideration in your efforts to get your message/product out there.
You need help.
You can’t call ghost busters, so who you gonna call?
Your PR team into action. That is who.
- Writing for Public Relations is the eleventh chapter title from the book Writing for the Mass Media by James G. Stovell that we are reading in class this semester. The purpose for this blog, aside from fulfilling a university class requirement, is to allow me the freedom to write about things I enjoy while also developing my skills as a writer. I hope you find something in my blogs that is meaningful to you.
That is all. From the Heart.