I spoke to a business owner the other day who had no idea what Public Relations was.
He’s not alone. The core definition of PR is ‘the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics’.
Putting it simply, a PR professional will listen to your stakeholders and communicate your purpose and vision to them in the most effective way possible. This goes beyond social media management. We’ve all seen for ourselves the importance of crisis comms during the pandemic. Hands up how many Sterling business owners had a business continuity statement ready to send out in March last year? The need for well-crafted and appropriately timed messaging throughout this crisis has been never-ending.
Another major area of responsibility that comes under the heading of PR is reputation management. A reputation is far easier to lose than it is to build and if an organisation mishandles its response to a crisis that can impact on their income, their staff and customers and ultimately their bottom line. And PR’s to do list doesn’t stop there. Stakeholder mapping. Measurement and evaluation. Storytelling. I could go on.
So by now you’ll see that there’s a lot more to PR than media relations. Having said that, I believe that many Sterling members are missing out on opportunities to tell their story more effectively in the media. So while this magazine is definitely a step in the right direction, I’d love to hear from business owners who can see the value in working with someone who is as passionate about PR as I am.
Rosie Hamilton is the Managing Director at Bees Knees Marketing and a member of Sterling Rapids and Bristol Breakfast groups www.beeskneesmarketing.co.uk