As its name suggests, public relations involves building and keeping a relationship with the public.
Public relations, also referred as PR, involves communication, customer relations, media and investor relations, and crisis management, among others. Under PR, practitioners gather information, analyze trends, become aware of possible scenarios, manage crises, and take action.
PR, depending on the arena in which it is used, functions to maintain ties with clients, investors, employees, and the public. Although publicity is often used interchangeably with PR, they are not to be taken as one. Publicity, which involves the dissemination of information, is part of a bigger PR plan.
Under PR, it is essential to identify one’s target audience and structure one’s message accordingly. It is also necessary to take stakeholders into consideration. It is possible that not all members of the audience are stakeholders, but stakeholders hold the most interest or are the most affected parties in a particular issue. As such, PR practitioners must carefully structure their message with the interests of stakeholders in mind.
There are several types of PR, one of them being financial public relations. Under this type of PR, financial institutions provide information to business reporters.
Product PR, on the other hand, involves the promotion and management of publicity for a certain product or service. This can be used in tandem with or in place of regular advertising.
Black PR, otherwise known as negative PR, involves the demolition of an entity’s reputation. It focuses efforts on discovering questionable activities and so-called “dark secrets” of competitors, with the objective of publicizing these and destroying an entity’s credibility. Under BPR, information from IT sources, intelligence work, and industrial espionage come into play.