• Hannah

Why effective PR is needed more than ever in 2018

Deciphering what exactly PR is can be a tricky subject.

For many people, PR conjures visions of glamorous parties, celebrity press releases and Absolutely Fabulous-style shenanigans. There is also an idea that PR is about sensationalism, spinning outlandish stories and manipulating public perception.

For everyone else, public relations is a mystery.

Whichever associations or stereotypes you form, what becomes clear is that there are many misconceptions around PR. This air of ambiguity can also obscure why PR is so crucial in brand development.

The Oxford English Dictionary offers two definitions for public relations:

1. “the professional maintenance of a favourable public image by a company or other organisation or a famous person”.

2. “the state of the relationship” between the public and an individual or business.

These definitions bring us to the fundamental principle of PR: communication. For businesses and individuals, it is about projecting a favourable image and cultivating an engaging relationship with the public. Consequently businesses must consider what narrative they want to convey. Contrary to popular belief, PR is an industry which mostly takes place outside of the limelight: fostering expert relationships between clients and influential groups. In 2018 the art of communication and narrative is more important than ever.

Social and cultural trends are constantly shifting and evolving, affecting consumer patterns, expectations and therefore the objectives of businesses. With the proliferation of media channels, new technology and marketing methods, industries are becoming increasingly crowded which makes it harder for businesses to stand out. At the same time, this means there are many more channels for businesses to be heard in. A brand may have an exciting product, yet to become influential it must focus on how that product addresses wider issues and needs. Offering an interesting news perspective, or providing a solution to industry problems, are some of the ways brands can differentiate themselves. Having an exciting narrative to tell is crucial if a business wants to become a persuasive industry-leader.

In the 21st century public relations have a whole new dimension for reputation building.

The development of social media means almost everyone has an online presence, and we are constructing some type of personal brand through our profiles. As such, one’s image is constantly in the public domain and open to scrutiny. Sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter allow brands to share news, thought-provoking opinions, and broaden their networks.

Managing these public profiles correctly can achieve instant, widespread impact for your business. Effective PR will utilise the many communication channels to convey the client’s voice and help target the most relevant media groups.

Industries may be increasingly competitive, however there are also more platforms and opportunities for brands to shine across. Using the right PR tools is ultimately key to making a brand truly dynamic and powerful.

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