Public Relations (PR) Fundamentals
Updated: Feb 8
Public Relations is a necessary component in both life and business. You can literally influence or change the mind-set of a friend, colleague, boss or even a group of people or a certain type of public with PR. It can mean the difference between huge success or complete ruins.
In a business setting, the actual function of PR is to interpret the policies of management to the various publics with which your organization is dealing. PR can also popularize and get them accepted, find facts about any unacceptability of the policies, create and run campaigns to make the policies more popular, test public opinion with regard to the campaigns, and more. PR literally molds opinion!
Here are some fundamentals to help you be successful in PR activities:
POLICIES OF MANAGEMENT – The first rule of PR is to ensure there is an up-to-date strategy, including policies from management. There is a lot of work involved in PR, so it is important that your blood, sweat and tears goes towards popularizing the right policies and programs! Once you have these, study and know them well.
DEFINE THE EXACT PUBLICS YOU ARE GOING AFTER – The definition of “Publics” in PR is a type of audience. You divide up the broad population into separate publics. Examples of this could be: teenage girls, men in their 50’s, small business owners or system administrators in large Fortune 100 companies to name a few. It is crucial that you define your exact publics as the majority of mistakes and errors in PR come from targeting wrong publics.
NEVER, EVER USE LIES IN PR – Don’t ever tell a lie in PR. The truth is just as easy to tell. Why go to all that hard work of thinking up a lie? If it is found out, it will weaken everything you say and do after that. You also shouldn’t tell everything you know either as that will glut the lines. You need to tell an acceptable truth to gain agreement with one’s message, which is what PR is seeking to achieve and thus the message must compare to the personal experience of the audience in order to get through.
SURVEYS ARE IMPORTANT: Know before you go is a very important saying in PR. When you use surveys, you can then know what truth your exact publics will accept. This is very important.
UTILIZE OPINION LEADERS – Opinion Leaders are those people who through popularity, knowledge, proximity to information sources or even personality can influence other people and publics decisions about things. Each group has an opinion leader influencing it. Find out who people are listening to through surveying. An example is a family. Often the Opinion Leader is in the family. It isn’t necessarily the one with the money or the force.
INTELLIGENCE – A successful PR must know something about intelligence technology. You must know that intelligence and PR are two different things. PR is a very overt action. Intelligence is a covert action. All PR actions from beginning to end need to be overtly done. All Intelligence activity is best done covertly. If you keep your intelligence under wraps, it is most effective and if it comes to the surface, it is ineffective.
PR PERSONNEL – A PR has to have three traits (and if they don’t have all three of the traits, they will not be successful and you will suffer the consequences). The three traits are:
Be an outgoing personality. A shy PR will not be able to stand up and take on hard-core situations or people. While a PR who can stand up to and handle crazy situations with complete composure are the ones who will be the most successful.
Be an organizing wiz! A competent PR has to be able to organize something very well and extremely quick. All PR actions and activities have to be organized down to the tiniest detail in order to win.
Able to work. The last essential ingredient of a very successful PR is that he is not afraid of working.
Learn these points well , put them into good use and you will be very successful in your career with or over PR!