What the heck is PR?
“Ohhh you work in PR it must be great hiring and firing people” - my hairdresser.
“So, what does your business sell?” – my grandmother.
“Ok – what is PR exactly? Is it like marketing?” – just about everyone else.
Public Relations (PR) is one of those things that most people are broadly familiar with, but have no idea what it actually is. We get it – the whole ‘comms’ space can be a mind-boggler! So, let us break it down for you:
Marketing: Self-promotion via ‘owned’ channels – websites, e-newsletters, social media etc.
Advertising: Paid self-promotion via third party sources – print, online, radio, outdoor etc.
Public relations (PR): Third party promotion of your organisation or brand – eg. A media story, a review or a social media post from an online influencer. These are earned opportunities – that is, you don’t pay for the placement.
Richard Branson once said… “A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front page ad.”
So, why is that the case?
Think of it this way – if I told you Uptown Communications was Sydney’s #1 PR agency, would you believe me? Probably not. But, if you saw a story on the evening news describing us as such, you likely would! Even if your friend caught the news story and relayed the message to you second-hand, it would still carry some additional weight of trust and familiarity.
PR is about reputation and credibility – powerful elements that can only be fully achieved via third-party endorsement from trusted sources.
So, how do you ‘PR something’?
Now that you (hopefully) have your head around the whole PR concept, you’re probably wondering how we do it. How do you get your organisation in the evening news? How do you feature on a morning show without paying a cent for the airtime? How do you get influencers to talk about or promote your cause? Well, we can’t give away all our secrets – but we will say this…
IT HAS ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH SENDING A MEDIA RELEASE FAR AND WIDE - THOSE DAYS ARE WELL AND TRULY GONE!
Success in PR has a few essential ingredients:
1. The ability to craft an angle strong enough to ‘earn’ media (the hardest part)
2. Good relationships with journalists, producers and managers
3. Understanding ‘the game’ – who to pitch to, how to pitch, how to stagger the release of stories and negotiate terms.
4. Real people – PR is always about story telling.
5. Knowing how to intertwine a strong ‘call to action’ without overstepping.
6. Having a clear measure of success, beyond ‘advertising value’ (EAV) alone.
We could easily write a whole blog article on each of these individual points – and we just might, so stay tuned!
If you have any questions feel free to holla at us – we could talk PR strategy all day!