PUBLIC RELATIONS - A TOOL FOR A SUCCESSFUL COMMUNICATION STRATEGY
Katerina Veljanovska Blazevska
Everything you do or say is public relations. Some of them are born to be great, some have achieved greatness, and some are PR professionals for hire.
Public relations – definition and understanding
"PR is about telling the truth and working ethically - even when all the media wants a headline and all the public wants a scapegoat. Public relations is a failure when there is no integrity." – Viv Segal (South Africa)
"The public is the only critic whose opinion is worth anything at all." - Mark Twain
"Developing a public relations strategy the right way starts with listening, not talking." - Leonard Saphir
Public relations is a communication discipline, but it is also based on other scientific disciplines, such as: rhetoric, public opinion, marketing, mass media and mass communication, journalism, ethics, law, economics and some of its disciplines, etc. Relations with the public as a science and experience for creating social opinion in a desired direction are treated from both a theoretical and a practical aspect. PR is necessary, especially in conditions of democratization of social life.
Public relations is a management function that establishes and maintains mutually beneficial relationships between an organization and the various publics on which its success or failure depends.
Public relations is a special management function that contributes to the establishment and maintenance of mutual channels of communication, understanding, acceptance of cooperation between the organization and its public groups, includes management of problems or important issues.
The mission of public relations:
The mission of public relations is more global: a mutual relationship between the organization and its audience based on mutual trust. Through PR as an instrument, the organization's desire to form a socially useful representation, an image for itself, is realized.
Public relations can also be understood as "Reputation Management". In fact, PR is all about reputation—the results of what you do, what you say, and what others say about you. The practice of PR is a discipline that cares about reputation in order to foster understanding and support, as well as to influence opinion and behavior."
PR people keep track of changes in the environment and trends. Their goal is to acquire understandings of the social environment that can be accurately interpreted and used by the dominant environment.
In addition to scanning the environment, public relations professionals gather information about their audiences and stakeholders. They should be fully aware and understand their attitudes and behavior towards the organization and current issues, and be aware that these may change over time, with certain emerging consequences.
In the PR world, the image occupies an important place!!!
Example for illustration,
In 1927 American women were introduced to the concept of image and were told that their appearance determined their image, the way other people perceived their personalities. They were advised to acquire an appearance designed to give them a favorable image that would be materially or socially useful. That was the spark that "ignited." To have the "right type" of image has become necessary to pay attention to details in dress, make-up, and much more besides, thus creating wants as well as needs.
Have you built your own image?
But be careful!!!
There is a lot of controversy about the image.
This term must not be used too loosely. If this happens, there is a possibility to experience an image that will also be uninteresting, imprecise, superficial.
What underpins the value of a carefully constructed image is its credibility.
The essence of PR is the same regardless of whether it is used in the political arena, in the business or commercial field, in social relations, in voluntary purposes or in fundraising in any other situation.
However, the methods and tactics employed and used in different situations vary considerably.
If we want to show the strategic role of public relations, we can present it in five possible interpretations or strategies (5 Ps):
- Plan - conscious planning of the course of action.
- Insight - a maneuver that outwits the competition.
- Procedure - a special course of action aimed at the goal - two forms of strategy occur: accidental and deliberate.
- Position - a means by which the organization locates itself in its environment - the strategy represents an intermediary force between the organization and its environment.
- Perspective - the strategy here represents the means by which the organization is perceived from the inside; the way management perceives its world and competitive environment - a generally accepted recipe for success.
Public and public opinion
If we talk about public relations, their structure, their influence in shaping the culture and awareness of the audience, then it is necessary to talk about the public, public opinion, public information, the public sphere, etc.
Do you know where your audience is?
What is a public?
- Publicity is a form of disclosure, shedding light on what is happening.
- The word "public" means open and generally available.
- The attribute "public" is most often used in the sense of "public opinion", i.e. "public that is well informed or that resents".
The public, based on your actions, forms an appropriate public opinion.
Characteristics of Public Opinion:
- It has a direction (for or against, positive or negative)
- It has a different level of intensity;
- There are varying degrees of stability (some attitudes are long-term and others change over a short period of time)
- There are different ways of research (public demonstrations, criticism through the media, etc.)
- There is a different width of the social base (attitude and opinion of the vast majority or only of a significant number of members of society)
The public notification includes the following elements:
- advisory works based on understanding and human behavior;
- analyzing future moments and predicting their effects;
- public opinion research;
- preventing conflicts and misunderstandings;
- promotion of mutual respect and social responsibility;
- gaining reputation among suppliers and consumers;
- improvement of economic relations;
- promotion of products and services;
- corporate identity planning.
Challenge: Public Relations
The formula can also be used for accurate determination of public relations
R - A - C - E
It shows the four basic elements:
1. Research - what is the problem?
2. Action and planning - what should be done about it?
3. Communiaciton (communication) - what should be said to the audience?
4. Evaluation - have we reached the audience and what is the effect?
Ten principles of PR
- PR is about reality, facts, not fiction.
- PR is a profession where the priority is social, not personal interest (PR means serving social, not available interests).
- The PR man is obliged to address the audience and ask them for support for the programs and for the organizational policy, the social interest should be the basic criterion for the selection of the programs and the policy.
- PR-practitioner through mass media, which represent public channels of communication reaches many audiences, PR-specialist is obliged to take care of smooth operation of communication transmission channels.
- PRs stand between the organization and its audience and therefore need to be effective communicators - passing information in both directions.
- To operate in two-way communication and to be responsible communicators, PR specialists should make extensive use of scientific methods for studying public opinion.
- To understand the problems and find the best ways out of them, PR specialists should rely only on exceptional intuition, should use the sources of such social sciences as: psychology, sociology, social psychology and they use existing methods for studying public opinion, communication processes and semantics.
- PR specialists should constantly include and adapt the achievements of other scientific theories and other disciplines, such as: psychology, sociology, political science, economics and history (the field of PR requires a transdisciplinary approach).
- PR specialists owe it to the audience to clarify problems before they turn into crises. They should warn and give advice in advance so that people are not surprised.
- A PR specialist should be judged by only one standard - the ethics of behavior. (Pearman is as good as it deserves its reputation).
Public relations functions-
- "Control" over the opinion and behavior of the audience.
- Audience reaction
- Achieving mutually beneficial relationships between the organization and interested internal and external audiences
Basic types of public relations are:
- Media relations - when we talk about this phrase we always mean press relations, but it also applies to other media such as: teletext and other screen-based systems.
- Communications with employees - employees are a significant target group for any organization regardless of its activity
- Investor Relations
- Relations with politics
- The corporate identity
- The sponsorship
- Community Relations
- Customer relations
Methods of public relations work
The main methods of work are:
- Press or media releases.
- History or studies - stories.
- Editorial interviews.
- Press support at an event.
- Analyst Notices.
- Financial statements - the most important requirement for a company to be talked about publicly.
- Political lobbying.
- Circulars and Publications.
- Video and film.
- Conferences and seminars.
- Product launch.
- Special events.
- Promotional items.
- -Corporate image.
Katerina Veljanovska Blazevska