The Many Facades of PR
By: Caroline P. Wiejak (Intern)
During my internship at two very different and diverse public relations agencies, I have realized that the notion of public relations means something different in every industry, company and agency. That also applies to public relations tactics regarding business to business (B2B) and business to consumer (B2C). Don’t misunderstand my previous statements, public relations does have its traditional models and practices that each industry adheres to, such as, news releases, campaigns, pitching, social media, etc. The way PR professionals go about those practices is what really makes every agency or company within a given industry unique. That’s what fascinated me about public relations from the start, this notion that not one client or industry is the same, and you must adjust to fit that change in the form of different problem solving tactics and strategies. Public relations is an ever moving, growing and evolving field, which combines aspects of communication, marketing, journalism, psychology, technology and much more.
In a recent ed session Fusion’s president, Robert Geller, started off by posing a question with regards to PR and its influence and reach. His question was, “Can PR drive sales?” A question every client asks themselves and demands from their PR team, consciously or subconsciously. The answer was a resounding yes, but just like marketing and advertising it’s hard to quantify the efforts of public relations with that of sales, estimates yes, but not actually sales. This is where the lines between PR, marketing, and advertising are blurred in regard to sales, but it is also an area in which public relations can distinguish itself from the other disciplines. Where marketing creates, advertising promotes, and PR generates leads and traffic, it’s a cohesive process in order to generate maximum sales. One branch can’t and shouldn’t do the jobs designated for the others, or be exempt from the process, because that would only limit sales instead of maximize them. All three branches are creative entities, which if used wisely in-conjunction with each other can accomplish great things, not just in sales.
Public relations is a vast and diverse field, which is still very much growing, as well as being learned. With the advancement of technology and the exponential growth of social media, public relations is, and will continue to be on the fast track in being an essential part of any organization.