Monday, February 9, 2009

Understanding PR

I was recently floored by an otherwise intelligent (or so I thought) business person who told me that, with the economy in its current state, his company simply cannot afford PR.

This is a person who does not understand what public relations is, or what it can do for his business. He probably thinks PR is just a way to get "free advertising." It is not.

Here is what PR is:

- Public relations is not a luxury, it is a strategy that is key to the success of your business.

- Public relations is the way to manage key messages about your company, both good and bad.

- Public relations supplies credibility for your business by connecting with important audiences through channels that are not seen as paid advertising or promotion.

- Public relations is a two-way street, providing feedback from customers, prospects and the wider market that can help you further refine products and services - IF you take the time to listen.

- Public relations is a dialogue established between your organization and the world.

So, if "free advertising" is all you are after, PR is not for you. But if you want to help manage how your company is viewed by customers, prospects and other key audiences, take PR off the "luxury" list and put it where it belongs - under "essentials."

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