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The 5 W’s of Public Relations

Did you know…

85 percent of consumers regularly or occasionally seek out trusted expert content — credible, third-party articles and reviews — when considering a purchase.

This is one of the many impressive statistics of the effectiveness of public relations compared to content created by individual companies. Yes, there is power in what you are communicating, but there is MORE power in what OTHER people are saying about YOU. Here we will be talking about public relations. Now let’s get down to it, the 5 W’s of Public Relations: 

What is it?

The PRSA (Public Relations Society of America) has determined that “public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their public.” Ultimately it is a method of convincing the general public (or people outside your direct sphere of influence) to care about your idea or position, Crisis-Public-Relationspurchase your product or service, and at the very least- recognize your news worthy accomplishment. There are various forms of public relations, including:

  • Press releases
  • Attendance at public events
  • Speaking opportunities
  • Newsletters
  • Blogging
  • Social media marketing

Who should do it and why?

Anyone who cares about the visibility and success of their company should tap into the power of public relations. Take your mindset away from the fear of “content creation” and shift it towards “customer communication.” If you care about your audience and want to keep them thinking about you and your company’s reputation, speak to them.

It doesn’t matter who directs your public relations and business communications (it could be an agency, C-suite, or even interns). It matters more that you do it well, and that you’re giving conscious attention to your business communications at all. – Forbes

When do you enforce PR tactics?

All the time. Public Relations is a great way to build a trusting and appealing reputation for your brand. The goal is to not only reach the attention of your target audience, but to clockinfluence their opinion and decisions. This doesn’t happen overnight and must be tended to regularly as an ongoing process if you want to really see results. Want to be perceived as a growing and influential company? Release announcements about key hires and developing facilities as they occur. Is your company developing key products in your industry? Speak at a high level convention showcasing your unique technology and it’s benefits. Always be seeking opportunities to communicate what’s happening in your company.

Where does it differ from Advertising?

More like, where DOESN’T it differ? One Forbes article summarizes the difference by saying, Advertising is paid media, public relations is earned media. Advertising involves spending money in order to create awareness and sales for your brand, public relations is sharing newsworthy stories about your company that gets picked up by magazines, newspapers, TV stations or websites. Rather than paying your way to be in front of your audience, your announcements are independently verified by a trusted third party and given to your audience on a silver platter. It’s all about credibility. Here’s a great chart simplifying the difference between advertising and public relations:

Advertising vs. Public Relations


Tips on starting PR now:

  1. Ask yourself: What’s new, unusual, and interesting that we are doing here?
  2. Step into your audience’s shoes: What’s the story? Why should they care? Why should they care NOW?
  3. Call us at Hype Strategic to get the public relations ball rolling today!

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