The world of marketing centers around the four Ps: product, price, place, and promotion. Among all of these, the one which is most important, is not well understood and given its due.
Public relations (PR) is the way organizations, companies, and individuals communicate with the public and media. It is a process where a company forms a relationship with its customers and stakeholders using different methods of publicity.
Ideally, the company would hire a liaison officer called a public relations officer (PRO), who would be responsible for working with the media to build a strong company image.
It includes activities like that of creating awareness about the company, building its image through print media, keeping a check on the different media channels for any news regarding the company and its products, handling crises, and also building on the company's goodwill. It is also known as investor relations or financial relations in certain contexts.
Purpose of PR
Awareness about Products
When a new product is launched or an old product gets a makeover, that is when PR is used to create awareness among the people through the media.
One of the most important activities is to build hype and interest among the public; this could be about a product, a new launch, or anything related to its offerings. This interest can be created using various mediums such as mailers, advertisements, roadshows, etc.
One of the main things to consider is the fact that PR is the most credible method of promoting a company, its products, and branding; this is due to the fact that, it uses the highly picky media in doing so.
A good promotion strategy also leads to better results, where target marketing is concerned. The benefits cannot be denied, but it needs to be done in an appropriate manner, as the public doesn't take to aggressive tactics very well nor does the media.
In today's world, public relations determine the company's image in the eye of the public. This practice is responsible for the way the common man perceives the company and its products/services. In simple terms, while marketing helps in 'sales', a good public relations policy will improve customer retention.