I’ve spent more than a decade working in the world of PR, and the one question that comes up time and time again is “what does ‘it’ achieve?”
Well, after giving my ego a morale-boosting hug and telling myself that my career does indeed have genuine value, I enter into a well-rehearsed speech on reputation management and profile raising.
As a well-established PR I can wax lyrical about almost anything NOW, but in the early days this question flummoxed me. After stumbling through a half-hearted explanation once or twice…“umm, it means you’re in the paper and stuff”, which often led people to come to the conclusion that I was talking about advertising – I decided to embark on a journey of career discovery. I turned to peers, shadowed mentors and even did a PR diploma just to make sure I was 100% certain I was giving a thoroughly comprehensive answer.
An advert is an advert, at the end of the day. It delivers information and it’s a great way of increasing brand awareness. But PR is so much more and, used correctly, can make a business stand out from the crowd for all of the right reasons.
PR can help to manage reputations when a crisis hits. PR can help to put a face to a corporate name. PR can facilitate introductions with key stakeholders across the relevant region or market, and form the strategy for major firmwide decisions and subsequent communications. PR can create the buzz that leads to award wins and peer recognition. It can open doors, educate, facilitate, drive sales and drive footfall.
So, what do I say now when people ask me what PR achieves? I ask them what their business is and what they hope to achieve in the coming years. Because PR – public and press relations – is bespoke. It should be tailored and it should be personal.
I suppose you could say that PR PRovides a PRoduct or PRofessional the PRovision to shine, but in reality what PR is capable of achieving depends on the client, and the PR’s ability to get ‘it’, whatever ‘it’ needs to be.
Ashlea is PR Director at MK PR, if you’d like to find out more about what we do and how we do it, contact us on 0114 275 6784 or email@example.com.