Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing the flow of information between an organization and its publics. ...
The main goal of a public relations department is to enhance a company’s reputation. Staff that work in public relations, or as it is commonly known, PR, are skilled publicists. They are able to present a company or individual to the world in the best light. The role of a public relations department can be seen as a reputation protector.
The business world of today is extremely competitive. Companies need to have an edge that makes them stand out from the crowd, something that makes them more appealing and interesting to both the public and the media. The public are the buyers of the product and the media are responsible for selling it.
Public relations provide a service for the company by helping to give the public and the media a better understanding of how the company works. Within a company, public relations can also come under the title of public information or customer relations. These departments assist customers if they have any problems with the company. They are usually the most helpful departments, as they exist to show the company at their best.
PR also helps the company to achieve its full potential. They provide feedback to the company from the public. This usually takes the form of research regarding what areas the public is most happy and unhappy with.
People often have the perception of public relations as a group of people who spin everything. Spin can mean to turn around a bad situation to the company’s advantage. It is true that part of the purpose of public relations is to show the company in a positive light no matter what. There are certain PR experts that a company can turn to for this particular skill.
The public often think of PR as a glamorous job. Public relations people seem to have been tarred with the image of constant partying and networking to find new contacts. The reality is usually long hours and hard work for anyone involved in public relations.
There are certain skills necessary to work in the world of PR. These include a very high level of communication skills, written and verbal. The PR person must also be very adept at multitasking and time management. He or she may also have some form of media background or training in order to understand how the media and advertising work. Organizational and planning skills are also important in public relations.
The PR worker must also be able to cope very well under pressure. He or she must have the ability to cope with a barrage of questions from the media and the public. If a company comes under critical attack, it is the PR department who must take control of the situation. They must effectively answer the criticism and turn it around in order to protect the company’s reputation.
A public relations worker usually has some form of relevant college qualification. Competition for jobs in PR is fierce. A talented public relations person has the opportunity to work up from a junior account executive to an account director in around five years. This is not a nine to five job; the hours are long and can be stressful. However, for successful PR workers, the pay is good and the perks may be even better.