Public relations is all about reputation and thought leadership. It’s the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you. It is used to gain trust, influence and understanding between an organisation and its various publics – whether that’s employees, customers, investors, decision makers, the local community – or all of those stakeholder groups and others.
Every organisation, no matter how large or small, ultimately depends on its reputation for survival and success. Customers, MPs and parliamentarians, employees, funders, journalists, community groups and regulators can have a powerful impact.
They all have an opinion about the organisations they come into contact with – whether good or bad, right or wrong. These perceptions will drive their decisions about whether they want to work with, purchase from and support these organisations.
In today’s competitive market and uncertain economic climate, reputation and thought leadership can be a company’s biggest asset – the thing that makes you stand out from the crowd and gives you a competitive edge.
Effective PR can help manage reputation by communicating and building good relationships with all organisation stakeholders. This involves ensuring PR supports the strategic direction of the business and underpins the operational strategy of all business areas.
In its core role, PR should lay the foundations of brand awareness, create positive associations and develop a strong reputation to empower the organisational departments and leaders to more effectively achieve their business goals.
Whilst PR in isolation rarely leads to mass sales or service penetration, strategically targeted campaigns underpinned by general profile-raising can effect meaningful change amongst an organisation’s publics – be that event attendance, influencer engagement or issue awareness and advocacy.