Public Relations (PR)
According to PR guru Max Clifford, "public relations involves setting out and creating the best possible image for my clients in the press and media", so how can you use PR to the greatest effect in your business?
The media needs to write about business so they are always looking for good stories for their readers. You would need to spend a fortune on other forms of marketing to achieve a fraction of the success of a good PR campaign so it's worth spending some time on this area of marketing and promotion.
Firstly, work out which newspapers, magazines and websites your target audience might read or visit, then get to know the journalists so you can work with them to deliver PR coverage for your business.
Could you use stars or celebrities to endorse your product or service and therefore achieve more column inches? Think outside the box to do something different and unusual and don't be afraid to pull PR 'stunts' to get yourself in the paper. Sir Richard Branson is a master of this type of thing and isn't afraid to look silly in order to publicise his latest venture - so if it's good enough for him then why not for you?
Use every opportunity available to you to plug your brand or latest product, and don't be shy when it comes to talking about your business - if you won't do it then who else will? With a little bit of imagination you can easily make a big splash and get your name in the spotlight with little or no budget.
However, once your business is up and running and if you can afford it then paying a specialist PR agency to work on your behalf may reap dividends. Use the links in the Related Information box below to search for PR consultants that may be suitable.
For PR advice on how to make your business attractive to the media click on the video in the top right hand corner of this page or go to our Video Lounge.
To see what other Shell LiveWIRE members have said about this topic, click below:
Whether you have just started a business, launched a new product or service, or won an award this guide will tell you how to get the most free publicity and media coverage.
PR is typically practiced in two ways: by a dedicated PR consultancy and / or by an in-house department.
A PR Consultancy's whole business is PR. They have many clients and work is handled in teams. The type of PR handled by the consultancy depends on its orientation, for example a financial agency or consumer agency.
In comparison, in-house public relations departments solely represent that company to the media. The name and location of these departments depend on the company, for example, some companies' PR is located in the marketing department. Others have separate departments going under the name of Corporate Communications or Public Affairs.
Marketing is a term used to explain activities undertaken to create an organisation's markets. Its objective is to create and communicate with specific population groups likely to consume their product or service.
PR deals with publics. Publics organise around issues and seek out organisations that create those issues. These publics can range from pressure groups and government ministers to employees or the media.
Unlike marketing, money is rarely involved in opening discussion. PR does not seek to buy time or space to communicate a message but uses existing mediums to endorse that message by talking about it. So, for example, issuing a press release can generate editorial coverage and endorsement through the targeted media.
This section offers an introduction to public relations - aka PR - including a broad definition of the discipline, and consideration of the role of PR in the marketing mix and the possible agents for its delivery.
The definition of PR that we are working with is "Creating positive and open dialogue between an organisation and its publics."
The critical element of this is dialogue implying that PR is open, honest and involving. It informs and impresses through discussion and exploration.
Rachel Johnson of Industry Insiders talks about the difference some good PR can make when first starting out in business. Rachel won a Shell LiveWIRE Grand Ideas Award in February 2011.
Johnny McGinley, MCIPR, MIC, CIPR Accredited Practitioner offers his Top 10 Bite-Sized Advice Tips for Delivering Effective Speeches & Presentations.
Johnny McGinley, MCIPR, MIC, CIPR Accredited Practitioner offers his Top 10 Bite-Sized Advice Tips For Effective Media Relations.
Johnny McGinley, MCIPR, MIC, CIPR Accredited Practitioner offers his Top 10 Bite-Sized Advice Tips for Social Media PR.