November 21, 2012
It’s an increasingly common mistake. There appears to be only one ‘public’ that matters – the media. You mention Public Relations and the assumption is that it ONLY involves press releases, interviews and – hopefully – coverage. It’s a similar problem when you hear people talk about marketing – the assumption is that it’s all about promotion. The other 3Ps in the marketing mix are all but forgotten.
It’s always been a problem – hard to believe the an industry where we sell communications services, we are largely unable to communicate effectively what we do – but it’s become worse with the growth of the real-time internet. Rapid response has, for many, become more important than actually ensuring that we’re saying the right thing on behalf of clients. Integrating public relations in to a wider promotion strategy, that is part of a well thought out marketing plan that includes product, price and place, messaging, a well researched, considered value proposition and evidence/proof points.
Even less time appears to be spent identifying target markets, working out which delivery mechanisms to use, tweaking messaging to make it specifically – rather than generally – relevant, and figuring out how to measure the success of the campaign. Is it any wonder that our industry has such a bad reputation when the majority of those working in it don’t understand what it means? Don’t believe me? Take a look at this infographic from PR Newswire Association LLC that asks the question of PR professionals ‘PR is…?’. Only one answer in it is correct.
What is PR to your business?