With many companies taking on their own social media and PR duties these days, is there still a need for public relations experts? Can PR stand the test of time or is just another phase of advertising? There are several reasons why PR is safe and sound and will continue to be so for years to come.
1. All About Relationships
Public relations isn’t just about selling to an audience. Moving product may be the ultimate end-game, sure. But at the heart of a true PR campaign is a need to build relationships with the general public. In this digital age, that’s more important than ever before. People don’t want to be sold to, they want real people telling them about a cool thing they could use.
2. Channels are Different
Although your message may be the same throughout the years, the channel will always change. Public relations experts know the proper channels and which ones that make the most impact.
Coca-Cola has been around since the 1800s, but they don’t use the same PR tactics they did then. They’ve adapted to radio, TV, the Internet, and continue to change the channel. However, the overall message is still “Coca-Cola is delicious to drink.”
3. Getting Your True Face Out There
“Trust agents” are the people the customers can relate to – if a business doesn’t have the proper trust agent to represent the company, it can greatly damage their trust with the public. Public relations pros know this can take a lot of tweaking and deep thought to arrive at the perfect blend of professionalism and “laid-back” coolness.
4. Improving Product
One of the major advantages of building a relationship with your customers is finding out what works with your product and what doesn’t. Simply selling to them doesn’t tell you that most of your audience thinks the “on/off” switch should be vertical rather than horizontal. Only by getting to know them and listening to what they have to say will you get to that very crucial point.
One thing even the most hardened haters of PR can’t say is that public relations is all about the “in your face” experience. PR is a more subtle way of convincing the public they need what your company is selling. This is also the reason opponents say PR pros are guilty of manipulation. However, it’s simply knowing what the people want and how to get it to them. While advertising is all about the in-your-face, PR dips below the radar to achieve life-long customers. And that skill isn’t going anywhere soon.
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Grab your free 160-page copy of the Big Press Release Book – Press Releases for Every Occasion and Industry here: http://www.ereleases.com/insider/bigbook.html