Public Relations and how it works
We know that sometimes public relations can be difficult to fully understand and every now and again we hear misconceptions about our industry and the role of a PR professional as a result. On the odd occasion we have come across people that believe ‘PR is the same as advertising’. We have also heard others say that it’s ‘some sort of marketing that involves writing’, but they’re not quite sure how it works.
Admittedly you don’t need a PHD to do our job, but it would certainly help with some of the challenging technical topics we tackle on a day to day basis! It is advisable for anyone entering the professional to have a degree plus an interest in generating their own content.
Here we explain ‘what is PR’ and take a look at some of the expertise that we put into play to ensure our clients and their products/services receive the recognition they deserve.
What is PR?
If we were to list the many factors that make up the role of a PR professional, this blog would take a lot longer to get through, so we will explain it in simple terms. The main aim of Public Relations is to manage a company’s reputation and ensure the business is at the forefront of people’s minds when they are looking for its services. Something that every organisation needs in today’s competitive economy.
To do this there are a great deal of tasks that need to be completed on a daily basis, from drafting and distributing press releases and managing social media accounts to securing and writing thought leadership articles and features, to name a few.
No matter what the task, to complete the job effectively a wide skillset is required, including:
It may seem a simple skill to be ranked as first in the list, but when there are so many different forms of communication literally at our finger tips, you need to be able to master them all. One in particular is the ability to actually speak on the phone, which these days many people can shy away from when there are so many other impersonal forms of contacting someone out there, such as email and instant messaging (both as equally important may we add).
As mentioned, being able to pull a paragraph together doesn’t quite cut it in the world of PR. You need to be skilled in writing engaging and creative content in many forms, for different audiences and for various publications. All copy must also suit the client’s brand and tone of voice, be factual, grammatically correct and the spelling must be accurate throughout (which can be an easy but costly mistake to make).
In addition, to carry out PR effectively you must be able draft copy to suit a range of media types such as blogs, online news pages, case studies, social media, trade magazines and traditional regional and national newspapers.
Creativity is key in PR. To carry out a campaign effectively it must grab the attention of journalists, the client and their target audience, whether it’s trade or consumer facing. A reputable PR agency, like Dragonfly PR, will also be able to come up with new ideas to keep campaigns and strategies fresh, relevant and engaging. This may sound easy, but we have to be able to pinpoint ways to keep momentum in a campaign and still secure coverage even when, on the odd occasion, things are quiet and there isn’t actually anything new to talk about.
Keeping up to date with the latest market trends, products and services is vital, especially in an agency role when you’re working across various sectors and with numerous clients. You have to know each of your client’s businesses thoroughly and the industry they work in. Staying up to date with the day to day news and business stories, recognising any reactive opportunities that would be relevant for our client’s to comment on or take part in and being aware of all of their key media titles is also essential.
- Organisation and adaptability
As no two days are ever the same within a public relations agency, you must also be able to jump from one subject to another easily. Here at Dragonfly PR, we regularly spend our days drafting copy for very different sectors from construction, manufacturing and engineering to food and hospitality. Sometimes this is carried out all in one afternoon and for various forms of media including trade press and social. So, in order to do our job effectively we have to ensure we can switch from one topic to another swiftly and organise our days accordingly to be sure we don’t miss any deadlines.
The way that people consume media is constantly changing and as a result so is the role of a PR professional. These are just a few of the essential skills required to make public relations work well. As our industry continues to evolve so will our expertise.
Dragonfly PR, provides bespoke campaigns that are proven to boost awareness of our client’s businesses and the services/products they offer.
With more than fifteen years' experience working with construction, manufacturing and food companies throughout Yorkshire, the East Midlands and the North West, Dragonfly PR offers a dedicated results-driven service. For more information, or for a no obligation chat about how we can work with your company to develop a strong PR strategy, call 0114 349 5345 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.