What exactly is Public Relations? My first impressions of Public Relations I have found that it is incredibly difficult to define because it is hard to differentiate from other categories of communications. Eventually, I’ve begun to understand that Public Relations and the other categories of communications share similar goals and ideas although they take different approaches when tackling a task. Therefore although very different they are all important in the grand scheme of things.
According to Dennis L. Wilcox, author of Think: Public Relations, although well-defined differences exist among the fields of advertising, marketing, and public relations, there is an increasing realization that an organizations goals and objectives can be best accomplished through an integrated approach, not just through marketing-but throughout all communication functions (2013, p.17).
For example, in my experience in seeing PR and marketing work together in real time would be at my job as a barista at Sip Organic juice bar. There we use different social media sites to reach our target audience. For example, we have a Facebook, Instagram and twitter account as well as a website and blog where we can update our customers on new products and events. In order to reach more target audience we also have a drawing. When customers come into the store they can upload a picture to instagram, twitter and facebook of anything they choose at SIP then they use our specific hashtags. Once they do that they are eligible to put their name in a drawing to possibly win a free 16 oz drink. As you can see both marketing and public relations at work here. Marketing is attracting the customer while Public relations is maintaining that positive image. I have found this to be a fun and ingenious way to help get Sip’s name out there.
What sets PR apart from the other communication functions? What exactly does a PR specialist do? Well, throughout the day a Public relations specialist is responsible for monitoring the news, constantly checking emails and scan blogs and other social media sites that are covering the industries they represent. It’s important to keep up with all of the items mentioned above in case the news or media are putting out something that could potentially harm a client’s reputation. Also in a crisis situation a Public relations specialist is there to take the steps to help manage the situation.
Overall, I have concluded that a public relation position consists of a person who oversees a company or person’s image using media and research. It creates a positive image for the company while serving the needs of the customer. According to The Public Relations Society of America “Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics” (2013). A Public Relations specialist has to understand the object of what they’re trying to achieve and their target audience so they can use the right medium in order to reach them. A Public Relations specialist tries to direct the conversation to meet their objective while also using the tools of marketing and branding to help shape peoples opinions. Generally, although all fields of communication have very different and very important roles the ways in which they can all succeed best is through working together.
Wilcox, Dennis L., Cameron, Glen T., Rever, Bryan H., Shin, Jae-Hwa. (2013). Think: Public Relations. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education Inc.
PRSA society (2013). What is Public Relations. Retrieved from http://www.prsa.org/AboutPRSA/PublicRelationsDefined#.Uic4EJWMHfY