A segment of mass communication, public relations is a vast field with infinite opportunities. We tend to think that public relation activities come to play when a company or a brand has done something it isn’t supposed to do. But that is just a tiny part of it, there is so much more to public relations apart from crisis management. It entails much of strategic planning and execution, constant communication and a lot of common sense. There are times it gets expensive and time consuming as PR can be a slow process, but if done right, you would be expanding your company’s presence and it would become more likely that people buy your services or products.
Instead of shelling out a lot of money on PR Agencies, what a lot of corporates are doing today is that they get their in house PR person who already knows how things are done and communicated, both internally and externally. This is a great idea because even at agencies, it is most likely that one corporate brand’s account would anyway be handled by one person, yet the price that agencies charge would be higher. In this article, let us delve into how exactly different aspects of communication come together to define Public Relations.
Our most trusted Wikipedia defines Public Relations as the practice of managing the spread of information between an individual or an organization (such as a business, government agency, or a nonprofit organization) and the public. Although marketing and advertising are also a form of communication, Public Relations is more focused on getting coverages without having to pay for it. In short, these are coverages that are earned through outreach, good communication and maintaining contacts. There are now options of paid PR that gets combined with marketing, but that is not the first choice any brand should go with.
Today’s PR professional has evolved from the traditional consultancy person to more of a partner in running the business. The modern day PR is now focused on compelling storytelling with great content and digital campaigns, again it all boils down to communication. Many times, the role of a PR person collides with that of a Corporate Communications person, this is considered normal.
In Public Relations, one works closely with the management in identifying, building and maintaining ties between the company and the the masses including the media. Media relations are an essential part of the job as you would be needing reporters and editors to communicate information about your brand. Reputation management, drafting press releases, identifying trends, planning for campaigns and constant monitoring of industry news are yet another aspect of public relations.
A good example of corporate branding that received a wide recognition would be Coca Cola’s “Fruit Circular Economy” campaign that sought to make a concerted difference in the Indian fruit ecosystem. Under this, Coca Cola launched its Unnati project that encourages reduced input costs and higher productivity for farmers,increase in export demand for locally produced fruits and driving economic prosperity of the farmer communities while reducing the waste across the value chain PR strategies. Unnati Orange is an area of concentration under this programme; it encourages the adoption of newer international varieties of oranges with almost 50% higher juice content than the traditional mandarin (Nagpur Santra) varieties. In order to create a holistic impact, the project also puts emphasis on easy availability of saplings and demonstrated impact through demo farms.
PR plans and strategies, if planned and executed well, will lead to a coverage which will in turn lead to more coverages.