What is PR?
Every organization, no matter how large or small, depends on its reputation for survival as well as success. A reputation of the organization amongst its stakeholders including customers, suppliers, employees, investors, media, regulatory authorities etc can have a powerful impact on the business. This is because stakeholders have an opinion of their own about the organization. Whether good or bad, right or wrong, these perceptions drive their decisions about whether they want to work with, purchase products from and support these organizations. Managing reputation by communicating and building good relationships with all the stakeholders is the responsibility of public relation person or a PR agency in any organization.
Thus, PR is the practice of managing the flow of information between an individual or an organization and the people or public to manage or enhance the reputation of a particular brand or a company. It may include an organization or individual aiming to gain exposure amidst their audiences using topics of public interest and news items that do not imply at directly selling any particular product. It is majorly done to gain positive visibility & credibility. The aim of public relations is to influence the public, investors, partners, employees, and other stakeholders to maintain a certain point of view about it, its leadership, products, etc.
Common activities that are involved in PR include public address by a key management from the company at conferences or similar platforms, winning industry awards, being in media with success stories or knowledge forums, and employee communication. PR has an ability to influence opinion and behavior of stakeholders. It is the planned and sustained effort to establish as well as maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organization and its stakeholders. Thus, one can say, PR not only tells an organization’s story to its public, but also helps to shape the organization and the way it works by making a positive impact on its reputation.
Requisite skills of PR professionals
PR professionals need to have the requisite skills & knowledge to find out the concerns and expectations of the company’s stakeholders through appropriate research, communication and evaluation. This research findings and future course of action needs to be effectively put forward to the company management to device an appropriate PR plan focusing at increasing brand reputation & credibility.
Thus, as PR essentially involves a great amount of skilled communications, the first and foremost quality of a PR practitioner should be confidence in talking to a wide range of people, which might include media, employees, competitors, government officials etc. One also needs to have excellent writing skills, as you might be required to produce press releases, annual reports, articles and newsletters. One might also be a spokesperson of the company representing company at various public forums. Ability to multi task and manage time effectively along with good networking skills are some qualities to be possessed by a PR professional.