Over our many years as a Public Relations & Marketing agency serving clients across the country, clients often ask us, “Exactly what is Public Relations (PR)?”

Many people think they know what PR is: working with the media and not much else. They think we call newspaper reporters, TV producers, magazine editors and online influencers, and try to get them to mention our client in a favorable way. In fact, that’s pure Media Relations, which is only one small part of the PR picture. 

The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) – one of the premier associations for PR professionals – defines PR as, “… a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” PR is about analyzing an audience and crafting a message that resonates – it’s storytelling. We have been proud members of the PRSA for more than two decades and have served in leadership capacities during that time.

How do we tell your unique story? Quite simply, we tell it clearly, concisely, and consistently.  In practice, PR can be many things, including:

Community Relations. The operative word in “public relations” is “public.” You are communicating with people and in this case, the community. PR relates to the public where they live, in their community, and becomes part of their lives. Good community relations are the foundation of a good reputation. 

Media Relations. What makes you different or exciting? Your brand’s story is your unique pitch. If it’s unique enough, it may become newsworthy. Earned local media (i.e., coverage you want but didn’t pay for) is great PR.

Internal CommunicationsJust like it matters what your company says outwardly (to the public) it also matters what your marketing people are saying internally (to each other). Focusing on how you’re talking to your employees matters. Ask yourself: are your employees telling the same story about your company as you are? If not, you might need stronger internal communications.

Digital/Social Media. PR is changing and evolving as the communications world changes and evolves. Today’s modern PR practice embraces social media like Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. 

Event PlanningEvents are a great way to share your mission and celebrate the essentials of who you are as a business. PR professionals can help tell that story through an event. 

Reputation Management. Your reputation can make or break your company. When your reputation is good, people trust you and do business with you. Should your reputation take a hit, the foundation of your business can be destroyed. PR professionals can help tell your story, keeping your reputation positive and trustworthy. And when the hits come – even a small hit can cause your reputation damage – PR storytelling and message management can help repair your reputation. 

Crisis Management. When the unexpected happens, controlling your story is imperative. Being both responsive and proactive are the keys to successfully navigating through a time of crisis and maintaining positive PR.

Public Relations is more than just engaging with the media. And the stakes are much higher than getting a positive story with the local news. PR demands consistency and PR professionals navigate the complexity of the PR world with ease. 

When we get down into the nitty-gritty of PR with our clients, they begin to understand the value of storytelling through PR. They see how communicating a consistent, unique, branded message makes their business stand out in its market. It builds the trust they need to thrive.

Get PR the way it should be. Let the team at Loudoun Clear Marketing provide you with a complimentary consultation on how to put Public Relations to work for your business.