You may have heard the term PR or public relations, but might not be quite sure what it means – and because it’s a term that is somewhat familiar, yet undefined, you feel it’s too late to ask its meaning! In short, public relations is the way organisations, companies and individuals communicate, in a targeted and strategic manner, with identified stakeholders. It is all about establishing and maintaining effective lines of communication to encourage understanding, acceptance and cooperation between an organisation and its stakeholders.
Stakeholders are those who have a stake or interest in a particular organisation, those who influence or can influence the organisation as well as those affected by it.
Your stakeholders can include employees, the general public, the media, shareholders, suppliers, local authority, government and designated public officials, neighbours, and the community in which the business operates. In order to communicate effectively and efficiently with these stakeholders, we advise our clients to create clear, concise, memorable messages for their organisations. These key messages will become the basis of all communications, such as press releases, and help you build awareness of your brand. A good way to test if you have the right key messages is through developing an elevator pitch or a short, 30-second one-liner about your business.
Another aspect of PR is the discipline which looks after a company’s reputation. Building a company’s reputation is not done overnight. It is an ongoing process that may need to be reviewed and adapted over time in line with a company’s changing circumstances. Without doubt, reputation management is a worthwhile investment. A strong reputation generates goodwill amongst stakeholders and builds trust in a brand, which, in turn, helps a company’s bottom line.
For further information about PR, read my colleague Orla Clancy’s blog titled Top PR Tips to Help Businesses Stay Ahead of the Times here.
Ann Marie Callanan is an Account Manager at AM O’Sullivan PR with an interest in how companies in traditional sectors can integrate digital platforms into their overall communications strategy. For more information, contact Ann Marie at [email protected] or call 087 649 6234.