What Are the Functions of Public Relations?
According to ‘LiveMint.Com’, if marketing and relations campaigns are run properly under the influence of functions of public relations, they can drive up to 63% of the company’s total business value. On that note, the slightest mishap in communication, delayed response from the business’s end or anything else can also affect the overall strategy.
In a way, public relations is a slippery slope, and a lot of meticulous planning and care is supposed to go into any process that entails building “trust” with customers. Therefore, it is important for businesses to invest in different functions of public relations to sustain scalability and longevity from a near future perspective.
Unfortunately, many companies are not aware of the full depth of functions of public relations. Their strong suite might be press releases and social media influencer campaigns while doing little to no focus on other reputation management strategies.
Fear not. This post highlights different aspects of public relations in the light of fast-paced automated workflows; why PR is important and what you are supposed to know about different functions of public relations.
Table of Contents
What is Public Relations?
From a layman’s perspective, public relations is a strategic communication technique where any individual, company, or business builds a long-term beneficial relationship with internal & external stakeholders.
Speaking of stakeholders, external stakeholders are your clients, potential customers, and people who have invested in your company’s project(s) – so much so to the extent of having a say in the overall processes.
Internal stakeholders are usually people in the senior management who have some kind of influence over ongoing projects. Regardless of whatever the affected parties may be, it is the role of a public relations agency to draft a specialized communication plan. This plan should ideally consist of different functions of public relations with direct and indirect mediums to relay information, build relationships, and impact business scalability from time to time.
In other words, whatever the functions of public relations that your business is looking to adopt, the processes should focus on the following key highlights:
- The type of information that’s about to be released or made public.
- How do you draft your PR content?
- When and how the information will be released, and through which mediums?
- What is the type of media that you are going to use to release the information (Earned vs. Paid Media Strategies)?
As we move on in this post, all of the above information and its constituents will eventually become clear to you.
Why Are Different Functions of Public Relations Important to Your Company?
Although there are numerous reasons associated with the importance of public relations functions, we’re going to take a look at the significant ones.
● Brand Reputation Management
The job of a public relations company under such public relations functions is to manage the positive perception of the brand. Given that people may have questions related to the brand operations, workflows, or the types of ingredients it uses in the products, the PR firm can communicate accordingly to maintain the reputation of the business.
● Business Value Promotion
Talk about portraying a positive image of your business and its core values among consumers from all over the world, and you have got this particular PR function to deal with.
Your company’s core values entail a mission statement that you can use in a couple of press releases to create a storyline for the people. Such strategies are important to uphold the goodness, prosperity, and common welfare aspects of any business in question.
● Community Relationship Management
For any prospering business, it is important to create and maintain a positive relationship with the community. There are times when companies want to be seen partaking in public welfare programs and such activities which help to promote a positive image-based.
If your business participates in philanthropic events, make sure that your actions are seen, and your voice is heard to convey a strong message that says you are all about the common cause.
What Are the Main Functions of a Public Relations Firm?
Whether it’s a public relations firm that you have recently onboarded, or you are working internally through a diverse team of experts, there is a certain number of PR functions that you need to know. These functions include, but are not limited to the following information:
1. Media Representation
Media coverage is just one aspect of the functions of public relations. Anything that has to do with the development and distribution of written and video releases, pitching stories to journalists, and responding to journalists’ queries is part of media management.
While the possibility of seeing your company highlighted by media respondents in a positive light is great, it is equally important to monitor and measure the results. After all, data-driven metrics lead to improved performance when you are looking to run the same type of media management public relations campaigns in the future.
2. Crisis Communication
Crisis communication is all about managing media representation and relationships whenever some kind of threat befalls a company’s reputation. This is where a crisis communication plan comes into action.
The components of a crisis communication plan are handled by people in the public relations department. They are well versed in designating an official spokesperson, content strategy, and logistics to avert the crisis from happening in the future again. This function of public relations entails the development and targeted release of messages, both for the internal and external audience.
The spokesperson is trained to handle tough and hostile questions in a calm demeanor.
3. Content Development & Management
Moving on with the functions of public relations, content development is an integral element that helps companies to create and manage different sorts of strategies.
The content section constitutes emails, newsletters, press releases, newsworthy content, annual reports, blogs, and speeches. Especially when something has to be written and communicated on behalf of the business’s CEO, or upper management, content has to be created in a very specific tone.
Under this function, the public relations agency working on behalf of your company may work with the marketing department or key players to get insight into the storyline specifics. This helps the PR company to create content with attention to detail, so that the concerned parties at the end of the day, can be kept in the loop.
4. Social Media Management
Lastly, social media management plays a vital role in maintaining a positive virtual presence of a company on any number of social media platforms.
This is one of the functions of public relations where social media influencer campaigns can also be taken into account. Specific tasks include maintaining social media profile pages, Tweets, and keeping an eye out on competitors’ activities to create a strategy that eventually resonates with the updates going on at the business’s forefront.
When it comes to macro influencers vs. micro influencers, which one’s the ideal choice for your business? Here’s what experts suggest doing before getting started right away. Read on…
Any type of influencer marketing best practices need a lot of sub-level effort to head your overall marketing strategy in the right direction. Here’s what experts recommend doing if you are getting started towards business scalability for the first time. Read on…
3 Significant Advantages of Functions of Public Relations
Depending on the niche industry, the advantages of having simultaneous ongoing functions of public relations are appended below:
1. Influence Factor
a. Your public relations experts can influence people through earned and paid media campaigns. The customer will be affected by the nature of the information that is relayed to them.
2. Cost Efficiency
b. The overall process is cost-efficient because the paid cost of PR promotional campaigns is cheaper than onboarding brand ambassadors and collaborating with mega social media influencers for sponsored content.
3. Improved Outreach
c. A well-timed and well-executed press release can have greater outreach as compared to seasonal social media campaigns. However, the outreach factor for any press release also depends on the type of medium you have chosen for your strategy.
At the end of the day, whether you are looking to integrate functions of public relations into your company is a matter of when and how. Given their benefits and the opportunities, these functions should be implemented in a step-by-step approach for maximum business scalability.
If you are a business owner with no prior experience in running & managing public relations campaigns, it’s best to get in touch with a professional PR firm.