Public Relation: Meaning, Importance and Examples


Meaning of Public Relation

Public relation is one of the key elements of the promotion mix which works toward promoting and protecting the company’s image in eyes of the public. It manages all sort of communication that an organization, companies or an individual have with media and public. Public relation mainly focuses on the management of public opinion of the business enterprise. There is a large number of programs under public relations which are performed to protect the company’s image and also its product image. Public relation distributes all required information among the public from time to time which helps in strengthening organization relations with the target audience. 

Today in this globalization era, most multinational companies have a separate department for maintaining public relations. The PR specialist used to communicate with the target audience either directly or indirectly via media for establishing a positive image and emphasize eliminating negative publicity. All the efforts are ultimately directed towards creating a favorable atmosphere for business organizations. 

Importance of Public Relation

The importance of public relations can be well-understood from the points given below: – 

Raise awareness

The public relations department continuously works towards increasing the reach as well as awareness of the business enterprise. The PR team make use of distinct methods such as media interviews, partnership, speaking opportunities, event planning and more in order to keep their business in the mind of customers. The people are taught about the product specifications and brand values via the public relations campaign. 

Enhance brand image and reputation

The practices of public relations help a lot to companies in improving their image and building up a good reputation in the market. Public relations experts make all efforts to inform the public about brand quality and its difference over other competitors. PR campaigns highlight the special features as well as the uniqueness of products which enable a company in building up its good reputation.  

Increase leads, sales and profits

Public relation is not complete without marketing and even complements the marketing campaigns of business enterprises. A range of unique PR campaigns which help a company in enhancing its reputation makes it more likely that new customers will find a way right to your door. The business stories and press releases serve as an additional option available to customers and clients for connecting with the company.  

Promotes goodwill

Public relations practices in the long term paved the way for developing substantial goodwill for business corporations. The experts from the public relations team work continuously towards presenting the organization in the best light. A positive image of the brand is developed in minds of the target audience via regular interaction, interviews, press releases, newsletters, charitable functions, or even by hiring a celebrity as a brand ambassador. These efforts finally result in building reputable goodwill for business in the long term. 

Develop loyalty

Customers are more likely to develop a loyalty factor with the brand which keeps on doing intense public relations practice. Once they develop a good relationship with a particular brand, they continue to buy from it repeatedly over a long period of time. Companies which keep on interacting with their target audience are easily able to develop a sense of belongingness among them. This results in building loyalty among clients towards their brand. 

Enhances online presence

Public relations assist corporations in developing up a strong online presence that is highly visible to their audience. In today’s world of the digital era, it is a must for every business to maintain its online presence. PR agencies guide companies in establishing a robust presence in the online market. The experts from the PR field recognize the optimum channels and influencers in order to widespread a company’s message to the right people. 

Types of Public Relation

Media relation

Under this type, the data is gathered from media sources or press by the PR department of the company. The data collected assist companies in planning their marketing strategies in an effective manner. 

Investor relations

Investors are a key part of every organization as they provide funds that help in the smooth functioning of the business. Therefore, keeping the investors informed, managing their events, queries, and complaints, and releasing the financial reports must be necessarily done by the PR team. 

Customer relations

In order to know the feedback, suggestions, priorities, and interests of potential and valued customers, the interaction should be done with them on regular basis. This acquired data helps a lot to businesses in preparing for their future strategies. 

Community relations

The future of the company, as well as its range of products, are decided to a great extent by society. It is a must for organizations to support social practices such as the abolition of child labor, environmental protection, equality, child education, etc. in order to build a positive brand image. 

Government relations

An organization can develop good relations with the government via properly abiding by all government regulations such as employee welfare, fair trade practices, consumer protection, CSR, etc. 

Examples of Public Relation

Just eat and a sick customer

Just eat is a Denmark-based online food ordering company. It provides a feature to its customers of adding a note with their order like guiding the delivery personnel about the right address or point of drop. Once a sick customer examined her luck by mentioning in the note that she needs some medicines. She wrote that she will pay the delivery guy for medicines and need them on an urgent basis. 

Eventually, both of the things were delivered by a delivery person. This public relations stunt went viral all over the media thereby bringing a good name to brand. 

Google joins the fight against Ebola

In 2014, there was a critical outbreak of the Ebola virus that widely spread in many countries and took many lives. Google comes out to support needy people as well as to build its positive image in the market. The donation campaign was started where the company pledges to give $2 for every $1 donation received. 

This strategy of public relation attracted the media attention and was a big success for company as it raises around $7.5 million. 

Jet blue and crying babies

It is more often seen that babies cry on airplanes and Jet blue sympathizes for the same. Mothers of these children also face difficulty and even get unfriendly stares from co-passengers. A company came up with an idea for making the baby-crying flight a win-win for each of the people involved. JetBlue took the decision to give passengers a 25% discount wherever they witnessed a baby cry on a flight between JFK to Long beach. This PR strategy was a huge success which receives reactions from over 1.3 million people. 

Paris support profile pictures by Facebook

In 2015, there was a tragic shooting incident in Paris killing around 129 people. Facebook in response to this, added a flag filter of France available for users to apply on their profile picture in showing their solidarity to France. This effort of Facebook was praised on a wider level where millions of people use this filter.