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What is PR?

If you’re a business owner or a marketeer, I can almost guarantee you’ve heard the term ‘PR’.

But what do these two letters actually mean?

PR stands for Public Relations. In simple terms, it is how a business communicates with all of its different people - the media, customers, suppliers, followers, funders etc...

PR is the most important tool for a business when it comes to getting your brand seen and known; building and protecting your reputation. It is about sharing information with your different audiences to build up a positive profile, and to increase the know, like and trust factors.

This will lead to the desired action from that audience, e.g. customer buying from you, attracting new employees, securing funding or sharing your brand and messages on social media.

It used to be associated just with press coverage and years ago this is exactly what PR was almost solely focused on; getting brands featured in the ‘traditional’ press; newspapers, television, radio and magazines.

But as the world has modernised and technology has made us more connected than ever before, there are so many more ways to communicate with your audiences and many of these tools now sit firmly in the PR sphere.

They can include:

- Media relations - liaising with the press

- Social media - sharing with your followers and potential followers

- Blogs - great for sharing news, views and insight

- Enews or regular business magazines - key for communicating with your customers or fans who have signed up to receive your news, offers and more

- Internal comms - Staff & stakeholder newsletters and updates

It’s vital to take advantage of these, to attract and cultivate your audiences, nurture them and keep them well informed, using all the tools at your disposal.  When done right, PR increases your profile and drives fantastic brand awareness among your target audiences.

It’s said that it takes a potential customer seven touchpoints before they will buy from you. And now we have all the tools to own those seven touchpoints ourselves before we even begin to think about media relations.

The key thing to remember is that PR is a marathon, not a sprint. It takes times but if you invest wisely PR is worth its weight in gold.

The impact of good PR pays dividends time and again. Whether you do it yourself, invest in a PR coach or have it done for you, PR is a must for any business looking to step into its next level of success.

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