What is PR?


PR winner… a guide to PR for small businesses I created a couple of years ago…

What is PR?

PR is all encompassing – some argue it is a part of the marketing mix others that marketing is a part of PR.

It means many things for many businesses: publicity stunts, promotions, public relations, press relations, media relations, press launches, web coverage, free advertising, parties, events …

Ultimately it is both different and identical for every company. It is what you want it to be. Usually, for small businesses, it is the external face of the company, the public image and your non-paid-far presence in the printed press, online, on the radio and on television.

And, for small businesses we firmly believe that it should be seen as a part of your marketing mix – totally focused on driving sales. Due to the time and cost involved, for a small company PR cannot focus on “soft” promotional and branding awareness goals (although these are great additions). Instead, PR must help you sell your services.

Why did we describe PR as non-paid-for – because that is what it should be. Public and Media relations are the combined arts of promotion without advertising fees.

Anyone can pay far an advert and then use the space to shout about their products and services. Editorial and PR generated publicity is third party endorsement – it is credibility provided by a third party, whether it be the editor, blogger or producer.

However, BE AWARE, whilst the returns can be many times greater, PR contains pitfalls that are eliminated in the level of control you maintain over an advert.  PR coverage or success is also not guaranteed. During a PR campaign you will face the uncertainty that a big news story in global events or celebrity gossip might overshadow your plans.

With this in mind, it is vital that you consider PR to be a part of a strategic marketing plan rather than your only focus. Your campaign needs to dovetail with your marketing and advertising strategies to maintain ongoing brand awareness and sales.

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