PR is used to help an organisation cultivate a good relationship with its publics and maintaining a positive relationship with stakeholders is crucial to the success of every organisation. If the public perspective of a company is negative, people will look elsewhere and avoid using its products or services.
Public relations professionals are experienced in communicating with a huge variety of people on behalf of organisations across all sectors. Given this scope, there are many different types of public relations and various areas of focus.
Pictured announcing Pure Telecom's plans to raise 250K for CMRF Crumlin are (L-R): Mary O'Donovan, director of fundraising, CMRF Crumlin; and Paul Connell, CEO, Pure Telecom.
There are 7 different types of PR:
1. Strategic communications
Every action that is undertaken by a PR professional should fall under strategic communication. This essentially means that all PR efforts are coordinated to help a company achieve its business objectives. Understanding an organisation’s priorities from the outset is a must, with communications objectives and subsequent activities established to support these priorities.
2. Media relations
A good working relationship with the media is needed in order to spread key messages to the target audience. PR professionals can put clients into the spotlight by sending press releases and pitching interviews into the media outlets that enable these companies to reach their desired, most important audiences. Journalists need a consistent stream of news to fill their pages and airways, so creating compelling news stories for media involving the organisations looking for media exposure is a win-win for both parties.
3. Community relations
While the media is an important outlet for PR professionals, sometimes a more effective means of communication is direct engagement with the community or audience through owned channels - e.g. drafting a company blog. Engagement with the community in which an organisation operates should work two ways. For example, when a business opens a new facility, getting feedback from the local community is just as important as highlighting the benefits for the local economy. Good listening skills and the ability to coordinate events are essential for this.
4. Internal communications
Internal communications is quickly becoming a major area of focus in PR. Employees can be a company’s biggest advocates or harshest critics so keeping them satisfied, motivated and loyal is crucial to the overall success of a company. Developing ongoing programmes to keep staff engaged and informed, whilst understanding their needs and concerns, is a challenge for companies and one which internal communications professionals are now playing a crucial role in assisting with.
5. Crisis communications
Contrary to popular opinion, the communications team shouldn’t just be brought in when a crisis occurs; that is too late. Organisations should take a planned and consistent approach to crisis management, with a clear crisis communications plan in place and strong relationships with both stakeholders and media built up over time which they can rely on at such times. This makes crisis communications as rewarding and valuable as it is challenging.
A behind-the-scenes shot of Minister Pat Breen, TD; and Michael Cronin, managing director, OpenSky at a recent announcement
6. Public Affairs
Those who work in public affairs - or lobbying - are involved in building and developing relations between an organisation and politicians, governments and other decision-makers. It is a relatively distinct subset within PR and those working in the field have a keen interest in the political system and the process for enacting legislative change. They can also add incredible value by providing assistance to organisations in areas such as regulatory compliance, corporate communication and trade associations.
7. Online and social media communications
In today’s instant world of communications, it is essential that businesses possess a strong online presence to stand out from their competitors. Customers are increasingly turning to the web to do their own research before making a purchase decision, so online PR has become hugely important in generating leads, building brand relationships with blogs and social media, and attracting new talent. Both organisations and PR pros today must be adept in choosing the best social media platforms and other digital channels to achieve their communication objectives.
As a profession, public relations offers an incredible array of opportunities and can be broken down into endless types and categories. However, there are underlying PR skills which are required across the spectrum for PR professionals. For businesses considering how PR can work for them, public relations can help to achieve business success in a wide variety of areas. Whether it is technology or international PR, working with a talented team is key to success.
Why not contact Comit today to learn more about life in Ireland’s leading technology PR agency or discover how we can help to support your business goals.
If you liked this blog, why not check out...
3 ways to get the message across with PR
5 ways to be creative with PR
Leveraging your PR agency to become a thought leader