PR What are They?
Why Public Relations are Important for Companies
The word PR identifies all those activities implemented by organizations to manage and develop relational links with the reference environment. The acronym derives from the English expression “public relations” and its first appearance – as we read in “The Nation’s first public relations firm” by Scott M. Cutlip – dates back to the early twentieth century, when a specialized company was called to manage relations between the press and Harvard University.
In the field of corporate communication, however, public relations are one of the 5 levers of communication ( below the line tool ) and, unlike advertising that acts on attitudes and promotions, PR represent a tool aimed at influencing opinions.
Public Relations vs Advertising.
Public relations are an important tool in all areas of business communication and can be identified as:
- corporate PR: corporate PR aims to enhance the institutional image of a company by addressing the entire public influential for the company itself, improving its reputation and authority;
- international affair: activities aimed at relations with international institutions and subjects;
- industrial PR: activities relating to communication with trade unions, trade associations and more generally the B2B relations established by the company;
- public affair: activities with local and national public institutions and with legislative bodies;
- management by crisis: activities adopted in the event of a corporate crisis for the communication of the same, its interdiction and its weakening. In these cases, time is a fundamental variable which, through strategic operations, inhibits the virality and diffusion of the critical issue;
- financial PR: financial PR covers the role of management and coordination of relations with influential publics from an economic and financial point of view. In this case, financial PRs intervene on investor relations, trying to influence the opinions of subjects such as investors, shareholders and market analysts;
- marketing PR: element of the marketing communication mix which, in synergy with the other levers of marketing communication, helps to stimulate market interest in a new product, contributes to the positioning of a brand and supports co-marketing activities;
- internal relations: set of activities aimed at employees and collaborators, in order to increase motivation and involvement.
Operational Tools and Contexts of PR
Public Relations are activities that can be carried out both in the form of interpersonal communication and in the form of mediated communication. In the case of a face-to-face exchange, various factors of mutual influence and consequent conditioning come into play; in the case of a mediated exchange, reference is made to various media such as paper, audiovisual and electronic media. In both cases, the signification of the message requires the use of empathic speeches that highlight the harmony between sender and receiver.
As for the context in which Public Relations activities take place, digital is halfway between interpersonal and mediated communication. The digital PR develop in virtual environments and are all activities which take place online to keep up the web reputation of companies, talking and listening to the web community and liaising with influencer industry.
The media are a valid operational tool to convey the messages that the company wants to convey to its audience, as they manage to add the credibility of the source represented by the media to the value of the company’s message. The message is conveyed through the publication of articles or editorials that can be free or paid. The operational tools used in managing relations with the media are:
media list; press kit; Press conference; press release ; press review.
Communication events are thematic events through which the company introduces itself to the target audience, stimulating their attention and favoring the construction of the image. The choice of the type of event depends on the type of objective pursued, the target audience and the message to be conveyed. Within the events category it is possible to find special events, i.e. those events that involve the association of an economic entity to an activity and are: patronage, sponsorship, patronage.
Corporate editorial publications are all those materials created to transfer information concerning it outside the company. Like the other operational tools of PR, they aim to develop favorable opinions towards it and sustain its reputation. Among these are:
budget report; corporate monograph; white paper; newsletter ; brochures and leaflets.
The business museum is a cultural institution that collects and makes the cultural heritage of a company accessible to the outside world. Alongside the corporate museum’s objective of making the history of the company known, there is also that of not wasting the historical heritage of the company’s production in a given territory.