You must have often heard people making a direct comparison between public relations services and advertising agencies. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that both the agencies do share the same goals. After all, both PR and advertising teams promote clients and make them look important, relevant, honest, successful, and exciting to the masses.
But there ends the similarity because both agencies take very different routes to create awareness. Public relations services are mainly about using editorial coverage to promote their company and its reputation. You can call this free or earned media, wherein stories appear on social media, TV programs, magazines, and newspapers.
Public Relations Services- Primary Objectives
The primary objectives behind the multiple public relations services, according to the American PR society, are as follows:
- To interpret, analyze and anticipate public opinion, issues and attitude. To intercept that in case they impact, for ill or good, the organizational plans and operations.
- Counsel management at all levels in the company concerning course of actions, policy decisions, communications, etc.
- Creating awareness at management levels about public ramifications and the company’s citizenship and social responsibilities.
- Evaluating, researching, and conducting various programs for communication and action.
- Planning and implementing efforts for the company to influence their public policies.
At the core of all the public relations services lie these primary objectives. Let’s now look at the multiple services that a PR agency typically fulfills for an organization.
Types of PR Services
- Crisis Management
Disaster can strike at any time and in any form for a company. One of the primary roles that a PR team plays is managing crisis for their organization. Any untoward occurrence during a company’s tenure, such as an oil tanker spillage, faulty product, employee accusations of company’s wrongdoing etc., require crisis management.
These are typically situations that can destroy the company’s reputation if a PR team does not deal with it quickly and efficiently. The PR crisis managers will think quickly and spin the issue to sway the media into portraying the company positively in such times.
- Public Affairs
Lobbying or public affairs is the act of winning the government on the side of the company. Guess who does that really well? Public affairs professionals of course!
Team members of a company’s PR department make contacts in the governments and other essential organizations. They’re tenacious, personable, and quite resourceful when convincing the government regarding specific company issues or objectives.
- Social and Corporate Responsibility
One of the most essential responsibilities of PR teams in to engage with the community on behalf of the company. This is essential because it improves the organization’s responsibility on the charity, community, environmental, responsible and ethical front.
This particular segment of public relations can make a huge difference in affecting the company’s practices. For example, PR officers serving the CSR department can sway the company’s entire recycling policy and convince it to adopt entirely different business directions.
- Community Relations
Public relations services also include a team of community engagement officers who have to facilitate the company’s relationship with local and extended community.
This is an essential responsibility for a host of reasons. Some of those include:
- Garnering interest of the masses for the company’s services and products
- Enhancing and boosting the company’s ethical reputation by giving something back to the community on its behalf
- Garnering local support projects the organization runs, such as a new hospital etc.
Only PR professionals are best at this particular field because they excel in the art of thinking, acting and engaging with community members. They host a series of events, publish newsletters, visit schools, etc. to promote their cause and enlist support.
- Media Relations
The reputation of a company relies largely on media portrayal and it is crucial to strike the right chord with media people. Public relations services are primarily and largely concerned with media dealing, including press conferences, scheduling interviews and press releases etc.
The primary concern of every PR team is to secure positive coverage for their organization and its products and services. For this, they work on strengthening relationships with media channels and concerned professionals who cast the company in a good light.
PR teams design compelling stories and give them to the media to publish. They use specialized skills to create compelling press releases, messages and speeches to draw in attention.
- Employee Relations
There is also something we refer to as internal PR. This includes processes that focus on providing a positive view of the company to its employees. This is an essential responsibility of a PR team because how they portray the company to its staff impacts how loyal, motivated and satisfied they are.
For example, for employee relations, a PR team will do the following:
- Facilitate cordial relationships between line managers and their team members
- Facilitate communication and maintain a constant flow through internal newsletters and more
- Organize team-building and employee-socializing events
This is the less talked-about or highlight role of a PR team, yet it is one of the most crucial ones. The fact is that this side of the PR team focuses more on action rather than the company’s image.
Public Relations Services- A General Overview
Public relations services are widespread and cover a range of tasks and objectives. In a nutshell, here are the responsibilities that a PR team has to fulfill primarily:
- Write speeches
- Craft and distribute press releases
- Organize, plan and execute events for media relations, employee socialization and public outreach etc.
- Write pitches to send to journalists (usually less formal than press releases)
- Carry extensive market research for firm’s messaging and reputation
- Copywriting, writing and publishing blogs for external and internal websites
- Working on business contacts expansion
- Attending and sponsoring events
- Crafting strategies for public relations
- Working on social media promotions
- Creating diplomatic responses to negative feedback on the net
There are various kinds of public relations services but at the crux of each is the goal of building and strengthening relationships. These relationships include the company’s employees, clients, local and extended community, audiences, and the general public.
PR teams take the huge responsibility of building, maintaining, repairing and protecting the image and reputation of the organization they serve.