“Every organisation, no matter how large or small, ultimately depends on its reputation for survival and success” – CIPR.
When I began my masters in Public Relations, I honestly had little to no idea of what Public Relations really consisted of. When people asked me “…so where will this masters degree get you then?”, I sort of tiptoed around the subject. “Oh I haven’t quite decided yet,” I’d answer. When in reality, I had no idea, and that’s being honest!
So what actually is PR? Many people have this misconception that it’s all high heels, fluff, and lavish parties. Other people may think it’s just spinning the truth and deception. And some may believe it’s just outright lying to get favourable mentions in the press – the phrase “polishing a turd” always comes to mind when I think about this stereotype.
A lot of people also believe that Public Relations and advertising is the same thing, when in fact that’s not the truth. Sure there are similarities, but advertising pushes out paid information in order to gain sales, whereas, Public Relations is about a two-way conversation and mutual relationship between an organisation and its audience.
The Chartered Institute of Public Relations defines Public Relations as:
“Public Relations is about reputation – the result of what you do, what you say, and what others say about you.
Public Relations is the discipline which looks after reputation, with the aim of earning understanding and support, and influciencing opinion and behaviour. It is the planned sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual undertanding between an organisation and its publics.”
Public Relations ultimately includes a whole load of different planned elements. It may include working for an organisation or individual to gain exposure for them, it may include crisis management when things go wrong, it may include building relationships between organisations and their audiences.
Public Relations can be many different things, and really, I’ve only scratched the surface on the definition. I’ve still got a lot to learn, but this blog will explore many areas of Public Relations, including how to write your own press release, to talking about Public Relations faux pas’! Hope this blog post finds you well and keep your eyes peeled for future posts!