public relations, n. \pu-blik ri-lā-shuns\
What does the public think of your business, of who you are and what you do? The public, remember, includes your customers and potential customers. It includes your neighbor’s sister’s best friend’s daughter’s teacher’s uncle who read what your employee said on Facebook, for better or worse.
Which is precisely where public relations (PR to you and me) comes in. In 15 words or less, PR is a marketing tool that builds relationships between your business and the public—hence the name public relations. Ideally, it motivates an individual or group to act by creating, changing, or reinforcing opinions and attitudes. And it’s the job of everyone in your company.
The affect of PR is threefold:
- It allows you to strategically inform the public about your business through your operations including marketing, finance, fund raising, employee relations, and community relations.
- It allows you to strategically respond to public opinion about your actions, policies, or communications.
- It allows you to strategically influence public attitudes or actions.
PR gives you the power to spread the word about what you stand for and what you deliver, directly via social and traditional media, in order to motivate the public to choose you, even if someone learns about your company sixth-hand. And that’s powerful, indeed.