“If I was down to my last dollar, I’d spend it on public relations.” This is Bill Gates, billionaire and founder of Microsoft’s take on the importance of public relations (PR). It is the relationship an organisation has with others and, yes, the lack thereof when needed can send a company in a downward spiral, leading to a slow and painful death.
The Public Relations Institute of Southern Africa (PRISA) defines public relations as the direction, by means of communication, of insights and strategic relationships between an organisation as well as its internal and external stakeholders. Internal stakeholders are, for example, owners, managers and employees of a company whereas external stakeholders are customers, shareholders, creditors, government and the general public.
Understanding why public relations is important can arm a company against controversy. PR can also provide golden publicity opportunities to raise brand awareness and educate prospective clients about what it offers.
Here are five things every digital marketer should know about PR
It is deliberate
Every effort in PR is done to achieve a certain company goal and nothing is left to chance. Every piece of written content is evaluated and revised to convey a very specific message to a target audience in order to influence their perception of the company. PR also promotes two-way communication and actively seeks feedback form all stakeholders. This is done to achieve a certain outcome in the perception of the company.
It aims to create mutual understanding
For a relationship between an organisation and its stakeholders to be harmonious, mutual understanding must be achieved. This way all parties can reach agreement and build a positive relationship which is mutually beneficial.