At Envision Creative Group, we recently officially added “public relations” to our list of available services. While we have probably been doing a lot of work that would fall into the PR landscape unofficially since we first launched, it’s time we addressed an age-old question: What exactly does public relations mean… and why would your company need it?
To answer the first question, we will refer to a quote by the historian Daniel J. Boorstin, who once said that “some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers.” That’s a great tongue-in-cheek stab at the way a lot of people think of PR: a quasi-ethical way to dress up the mediocre and make it seem marvelous.
We won’t lie, there are companies that do these sorts of things. However, within the bigger scheme of a reputable creative agency, public relations is so much more than that – and something much better. Basically, it’s about making sure that the media, your customers, and the world at large sees your business for what it really is.
Looking for more specific answer? Here are a handful of duties that fall within the public relations realm:
Spreading the word when your company does something great. When you win an award, do something charitable or of civic value, or otherwise add to the awesomeness of the planet, having a good public relations team on your side (and one that can make sure your business gets the recognition it deserves) can be invaluable.
Giving you a voice in the media. There are a lot of reasons you might want to have a closer relationship with the media, even if it’s just to report on your new products and company news from time to time. A good PR team will help you to establish these contacts and get members of the media talking about your business.
Helping you to craft the right message. Sometimes, organizations have something they want to say, but can’t find the right words. Whether it’s crafting a new message from the ground up, or just summarizing one you already have, experienced PR professionals can be just what you need.
Making sure that your side of a controversy is represented. Sometimes, even the very best, most reputable companies find themselves in the middle of an argument with a customer, competitor, or other outside party. When these situations arise, a public relations team can make sure that people hear your side of the story, too.
Being a public face when things aren’t going well. Likewise, companies and nonprofits alike sometimes have to give out bad news to buyers, investors, and employees. A good PR team can soften the blow and help you to make the explanations that are needed without dancing around the central issues.
Naturally, the areas between these duties and what a lot of people think of as “advertising” or “marketing” are a little bit murky. That’s all right; as we mentioned, we’ve been helping our clients with public relations unofficially for a lot of years. It’s just another way that we use our creative energy to help you meet the goals and challenges of running your organization.