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Public Relations FAQs

What are public relations (PR) services?

Public relations (PR) is the practice of creating and distributing news and information from an individual or an organization for the purposes of gaining coverage from online and traditional news agencies. A PR consultant provides services on behalf of their clients related to creating, distributing, and encouraging the publication of that information.

What are the different types of public relations?

Public relations may cover a variety of disciplines related to the core practice of creating and disseminating news and information on behalf of an individual or organization. Those disciplines include:
  • Media relations. This is the practice of engaging media contacts to pick up and publish a story from a consultant’s client.
  • Community relations. This involves engaging with community influencers and organizations to foster goodwill between an organization and the community it serves.
  • Crisis management. The practice of crisis management involves maintaining an organization’s or individual’s public image while minimizing harm in the aftermath of an unforeseen or damaging incident.
  • Public affairs. Also known as lobbyists, public affairs consultants engage elected officials for influencing their actions in a way that benefits an organization.

What makes a successful public relations campaign?

A PR campaign should feature several components to ensure its success. Establishing an objective of the overall campaign is the first step. Understanding your target audience is also critical to ensure your message resonates. Developing a distribution strategy can help maximize the impact of a press release, whether it includes mass distribution or exclusive distribution to one media outlet. Measuring the success of a PR campaign is necessary, as it will confirm whether both the message and the reach align with the campaign’s original objectives.

What services do PR firms provide?

Public relations firms provide a variety of services to their clients. Most full-service firms or consultants will help clients with developing an overall communications strategy. This includes messaging and campaign planning. Firms are also adept at creating content, handling media relations, managing social media engagement, and measuring the effectiveness of campaigns.

What makes a press release newsworthy?

There are two components to determining whether a press release is newsworthy. First, the media contacts, and their editors, must agree that the information being shared by an individual or organization is of interest to their readers. If the media determines that their readers would greatly benefit from publishing the information, they will be much more inclined to pick it up and promote it. Second, a press release is newsworthy if a large target audience finds the information valuable. These two components work together, since the target audience must find the information valuable and the media outlet must agree that the target audience wants to read about the information being shared.

How do you measure the impact of a PR campaign?

The impact of a PR campaign can be measured several ways. One way to measure effectiveness is to track which publications have published the information distributed. The more media outlets that publish the information while also giving it prominence, the greater exposure it will have and the more successful it will be. Another way is to measure traffic via Google Analytics. If a press release includes a call to action that drives readers to a particular website or landing page, then those views can be tracked. A third way of measuring whether a PR campaign has been successful is by tracking social media mentions. The more newsworthy information is, the more social media mentions. It’s also worth mentioning that measuring revenue generated by the sale of a product or service mentioned as part of a PR campaign can be an effective way to determine its success.