What is PR and what does it offer?

05/10/2016

Public relations traditionally relate to the use of news media to raise awareness of a brand or issue. As such, PR can be a powerful part of a wider marketing strategy or campaign.

At its most basic level, PR is about reaching out to journalists to persuade them to write about whatever it is you want to promote. This is worth doing because coverage can enable you to reach big audiences very quickly. A mention on regional TV news, for example, may be seen by a quarter of a million of people.

This is why when it is done well, PR has the potential to have a bigger impact than advertising – and much more cheaply too.

However, as is so often the case, it’s not quite that simple:

  1. You have to know which buttons to press to ensure that journalists will be interested in your story. They think in a certain way, so finding the right angle takes skill – which is where PR specialists like Arch Communications come in.
  2. Getting a decent piece of one-off publicity may be exciting, but it is unlikely to produce any long-term benefit. To grow awareness takes time. A truly effective PR campaign requires persistence and creative thinking, to achieve positive media coverage over an extended period.
  3. Printed newspapers in particular are in decline, as we increasingly go online to get the information we want. PR is changing to reflect this and is no longer solely focused on news coverage.

These days, our work is more about content – writing blogs, crafting articles which establish clients as experts in their field, and engaging with the public through social media. Many of the PR skills are the same, though: knowing what will be of interest, and saying it in the most compelling way.