What is Public Relations?
Public relations involves the cultivation of favorable relations for organizations and products with its key publics through the use of a variety of communications channels and tools. Traditionally, this meant public relations professionals would work with members of the news media to build a favorable image by publicizing the organization or product through stories in print and broadcast media. But today the role of public relations is much broader and includes:
- building awareness and a favorable image for a company or client within stories and articles found in relevant media outlets
- closely monitoring numerous media channels for public comment about a company and its products
- managing crises that threaten company or product image
- building goodwill among an organization’s target market through community, philanthropic and special programs and events
In this tutorial most of our focus is on how public relations supports marketing by building product and company image (sometimes referred to as publicity). Yet, it should be noted that there are other stakeholders companies reached via the public relations function, such as employees and non-target market groups. Favorable media coverage about a company or product often reaches these audiences as well and may offer potential benefit to the marketer.
Finally, in most large companies, investor relations (IR) or financial public relations is a specialty in itself guided by specific disclosure regulations. However, coverage of this type of PR will not be provided here.
Latest Marketing Stories
- Costco Is Facing a Looming, Bulk-Sized Problem (concerns of a changing market) Time
- Disney Bets $1 Billion on Technology to Track Theme-Park Visitors (high-tech and customer tracking) BusinessWeek
- Who Has The Biggest Marketing Budgets? (survey of marketing spending) Forbes
- Retailers Are Using Mobile Apps to Drive Up Sales (building store traffic with apps) Los Angeles Times
- Worst Product Flops of All Time (10 big product failures) 24/7 Wall St.
- The Price Of A Pizza In 237 U.S. Neighborhoods (stats on how pizza prices vary within cities) NPR
- Hey, We Want More $$$ Too! More Theme Parks Jack Up Ticket Prices (competitors see market leader's price increase as reason to raise their price) Time