I posted this blog several months ago. This week I heard several people working outside the field of public relations refer to the profession as a job that simply scores press for clients. If it were only so simple! I thought I’d pull this blog out… dust it off and hopefully change a few perceptions.
I’ve worked in the public relations business for more than 15 years providing local, regional and national services. Before that I was a journalist working in radio/television news. When I made the leap to pr, I came to learn that too many business professionals think the profession is only about working with reporters. They think the “P” stand for press. Truth is that’s just a small part of what we do.
The “P” in pr is for public, or audiences you need to talk to about your business, non-profit or brand. Like others in my business, we work enhance the reputation and image of a company’s brand through word and deed. How? We create a strategic plan that outlines business goals and then addresses audiences. This list is often long and should be inclusive. Reporters are just one audience on that list.
So who else is included in a public relations plan? Here’s one list recently created for client:
- Sub contractors as preferred partners
- Past clients
- Prospect clients
A great public relations strategy creates a company story and communication tools that start from inside any company. That means employees should always be the first to know. They are, after all, first on this list. How many times do you hear people talking about how they read about what’s happening at their company from the Internet or newspaper—the press?
Does that create good-will among employees? Heck no!
The press should be the last to know… your publics come first… your employees, customers and anyone closest to your brand, business and revenue should always be first on your line of communication.