Hi there! Having listened to the feedback we are getting about our newsletter we have decided to take some of it on board.  As much as you all love to hear our news it appears some of you are still unsure of what we do!  PR! What is it all about?  I have actually written a paper with this title because over the years I have heard described as ‘advertising’, ‘marketing’, ‘fluffy stuff’ – you name it!  PR is still a mystery after many years and I think it is because it is so intangible and is difficult to quantify.

The first thing I will say is that PR is a great tool when you use it right.  Great in that it gets the results subtly, cheaply (well compared to advertising anyway) and is well targeted.  To try and define it PR is all about managing the communications between you and your target audiences. By using strategy (the ideas) and tactics (the actions), you can help shape others’ opinion of you and your products, manage issues and monitor and respond to others’ viewpoints.  In other words most of what we see in the papers is thanks to PR.  Every photo of important people at events, every announcement of a new product; even columns by prominent people is a form of PR.  Once people read it they become aware.  Aware that the event took place; aware that a product is now available; aware that so and so person knows about such an issue and is therefore someone to use a reference point.

“Wins” in public relations, such as media coverage of your organization, is highly credible due to its “third party” nature. When someone else says you are great, people tend to believe it. When you say you are great, they may or may not believe it as readily and this is also an advantage PR has over advertising.