In a nutshell, PR connects you and your stakeholders. It assists in raising awareness of, and / or helps to protect, your brand. It is as diverse as it is interesting, as different techniques are applied depending on a client’s requirements and the nature of a campaign.
My journey to a career in PR stemmed from my law degree, due to my interest in research and writing. During the past ten years, I have worked across several industries and one thing for sure is that it is never boring!
A particularly useful PR service that we provide is content creation – we write it, you own it. Clients have endless insights to offer about their sectors, but, more often than not, don’t have time to put pen to paper and, for example, write an opinion piece. We draft the relevant communications material on their behalf. The process might initially begin with consultations – in person or over the phone – and, gradually as the brand is clearly-defined, we write in a tone consistent with theirs, often without the need for consultations. The communications material could form the basis of a press release, article, blog, web content or social media content. In turn, this raises the profile of the individual and drives brand awareness for his, or her, business. Over time, and with a strategic communications strategy in place, the client can be positioned as the go-to expert in his, or her, relevant industry.
Over the past decade, I have noticed a shift in the perception of PR. Traditionally, it was viewed, by some, as unnecessary, nebulous and unsuited to a lot of professions. It was unusual for PR to be integrated into many businesses. Nowadays, it is commonplace. Bill Gates’ quote “If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.”, perfectly demonstrates the necessity of PR. My PR work involves digital PR, such as management of website content, social media networks and videos. Traditional PR includes writing and pitching to, and liaising with, media about interesting updates, events and seminars, or preparing appointment notices for new or promoted team members. If you notice that your competitors are featured in media on a regular basis, this coverage is likely to have been facilitated by PR professionals who have relationships with the media.
In conclusion, I’ll ask you five questions so that you can determine if PR is for you and your business:
- Your business recently reached an important milestone or you had a successful outcome for a client. Was this covered in the media and, if not, would you like it to be featured in the media?
- Does your target audience know about all or only some of your products and services?
- Are you positioned and recognised as a leader in your profession?
- Do your stakeholders know about your business’ achievements; have you recently expanded the team or won an award?
- Do you want to be front of mind with journalists who are writing about your industry?
Orla Clancy is currently undertaking a Certificate in Crisis Communications and Issues Management at the PRII and holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Public Relations and Event Management from the Fitzwilliam Institute (accredited by the PRII) and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Law and Accounting from the University of Limerick. She is a Senior Account Manager at AM O’Sullivan PR and designs bespoke packages to suit the different requirements and budgets of clients. She is also PRO of Network Ireland West Cork. Contact Orla at firstname.lastname@example.org / 087 9388882.