Definition: The Public Relations or PR is the practice of maintaining relations between the organization and its public. The purpose of PR is to convince the stakeholders and other investors to maintain a favorable point of view of the organization concerned.
Public Relations Activities
The organizations use several public relations activities and tools to promote a positive message about the organization and its product and services. The major public relations activities are:
- Media Relations: The press coverage is the most widely used public relations activity that helps to reach a large group of customers. The PR experts use print or broadcasting media to spread information about the organization and its offerings. The experts, design the story line and gather all the relevant facts about the organization and market these to various media sources such as TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, the internet, etc.
The organizations use several media relations tools such as, press kits, audio recordings, video recordings, website press rooms, matte releases, newsletters, corporate social responsibility, etc. to manage the flow of information between the organization and its public.
- Counseling: The PR expert practices the advisory role wherein he guides the senior management of the organization in special communication programs. They give suggestions and recommendation on the policies of the organization as well as help in making the decisions particular to the communication. This helps the management to efficiently manage their flow of information to its public.
- Research: The organizations adopt the two-way communication models of public relations to facilitate a free flow of information between the organization and its public. This helps in making the extensive use of research and survey techniques to better understand the public and influence their behavior.
- Publicity: The publicity means supplying the factual, meaningful and interesting information to the media on which the organization has no control. The purpose of publicity is to encourage prospective customers to make purchases and provide all the necessary information about the company and its products with which the customers can associate their needs, wants and desires. The PR experts can use either of the following publicity tools:
- Press Releases: It is the basic form of publicity tool wherein the story about the organization and its products is placed with the media. Here, all the important and factual details of the organization are summarized that catches the media attention.
- Fact Sheets: The fact sheets include the detailed information of the product, its origin, and its features. These sheets help the media to create a story about the product and clear all the misconceptions associated with it.
- Employee Relation: For an organization, its employees are its important internal public. And therefore, corporate public relations people create several employee communication programs, including internet postings, newsletters, bulletin boards, etc. In service organizations, corporate uses the newsletters at regular intervals to remind employees about the necessity of the prompt and courteous customer service.
Thus, these are some of the Public relations activities that PR experts use to maintain and shape the favorable image of the organization and its offerings in the minds of the potential customers.