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Who doesn't want publicity? The answer is simple. Everyone does! One ideal way is to make yourself 'Viral'.
Unfortunately, ‘going viral’ isn’t always positive. You don’t need me to tell you that. But is the damage of a negative viral post truly negative?
Is bad PR to a sceptical audience the worst thing in the world? Should you delete a post and pretend it never happened? Or should you address it in the comments, hoping you’re forgiven for misguidance?
Or should you leave the post up, revelling in your new found fame?
Many people take this approach. They exhume pride as if people knowing their brand is the number one intention.“There’s no such a thing as bad publicity” someone comments. They agree. And everyone carries on.
Yes, there's no such thing as bad publicity.
However, it is a dilemma of the digital age that people confuse publicity with popularity, So, what is publicity to be exact if it isn't about being popular?
Publicity is the type of promotion that depends upon the earned reach through media such as news channels, news articles or tv shows.
When you publicise a person or a business, you are not only trying to sell the services they offer or their products. You are simply creating a positive image for the business or person through independent methods.
While the publicist controls the content of the promotion, they could not fully control its distribution. In fact, a publicist has no idea how this publicity will be perceived by an audience. They may have intended to release it with good intentions but it may generate negative feelings from the public!
But as they say, there's no such thing as bad publicity is good publicity. Though I know, some of your might beg to differ. That's where good public relations (PR) come in.
PR gives proper direction to any type of publicity. PR has the power to turn any negative messages from the public into positive publicity!
Public relations can be understood as the discipline that creates and maintains a favourable relationship of the public with a person or business.
PR is performed by publicists and public relations agencies. They have the singular objective of promoting people and businesses.
Advertising agencies do a similar job. Only the channels they use are different. They are called paid channels.
In contrast, the channels that PR agencies use are known as earned or free media. The earned media includes coverage in newspapers, magazines, websites, TV programmes and most recently, social media platforms.
PR agencies play multiple roles for companies that hire them, all of these roles are based on their goal of promoting the organisation that has hired them.
There are four fundamental roles for PR:
1) Managing the Public Opinion
The most prominent role played by a PR agency involves managing the impact that public opinion have on the company and its reputation. It is the foremost job of a PR agency to expect, analyse and interpret public opinions about a particular company. The agency keeps an eye on whether the opinion affects the company's plans and operations positively or negatively. In case of a positive impact, they don't have much of a job except highlighting it so that the company can gain more benefits from it.
If a negative opinion emerges about the company, the PR agency springs into action. They actively work to change or manipulate that opinion into something that is positive for the company.
2) Providing PR counselling to the Management
A PR agency always stays available for the company. It guides the management at all levels. It directs the policy making of the company as well as its decision-making. It helps them in following a course of action that pulls them out of a particular tight spot. Sometimes, businesses are so focused on making profits that they overlook how their actions are being perceived in the public. They take one decision after another that affects their reputation badly.
A PR agency reminds them of the public ramifications of their dealings. It shows them how they need to be careful about being perceived wrongly by the common man.
3) Managing the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) image of Company
They are responsible for creating an image for the company where they are socially responsible and actively engage with the communities they operate in. It helps them in developing several programs that keeps them in the good books of the public.
Sometimes, company spokespersons make a bad situation worse by making a callous statement in the press or taking some irresponsible action in public. When you are running a multi-billion dollar company, there are bound to be legalities and bad press. However, if you tackle it right, you can get through anything.
A PR agency can turn the tables for any business. Even if a business is facing bad press, their PR agency can pull them from the brink of sustaining a huge loss by giving them something good to replace their bad reputation.
4) Communicating to the press on behalf of the company
Your PR agency communicates with the press continuously on your behalf. In this way, they can manage any and all kinds of news about the business in an efficient way. Managing the media is not an easy task. The media environment is constantly changing and there are hundred and one ways in dealing with the media. Media practitioners, be they journalists, editors, anchormen, deejays, are all trained to curate news and entertainment that serve the needs of their target audience.
Every media organisation has its own editorial prerogatives and business objectives. A PR person should try to align the client's needs with the media's editorial prerogatives out there. Since the job entails getting free publicity, a PR person should understand what makes news and find different ways of pitching themselves in.
So having an active PR strategy will ensure that you and your brand are perceived correctly in the eyes of your stakeholders. In today's fluid climate, it is even more important for brand communicators to be on top of their communications challenges and obstacles.
To learn more about public relations, feel free to WhatsApp me at +65 96566947.