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PR specialists: Who are they and what do they do?

All of us have some general idea of what public relations or PR specialists do. We have the sense that PR specialists are in the business of shaping and furthering the public image and reputation of a company or organization. But the exact nature of what PR specialists do is actually quite complex. 

In the age in which digital technology is changing the way information is publicized, and the ways we access information, the job of PR specialists grows more and more complicated. PR specialists now operate with increasing levels of focus and specialization. 

In order to market a brand and create the proper public perception of a brand, PR specialists need to be able to work with a vast array of digital tools. At the same time, PR specialists need to have a firm understanding of the same methods they have been using for decades. PR specialists are involved in everything from the initial messaging for a brand to the complex digital technologies that create brand awareness. 

What is a PR specialist? What do PR specialists do? And how do PR specialists operate between marketing and public relations? This guide will give some insights into the work of PR specialists and the ways they can help your company grow.  

What is a PR specialist?

Simply put, PR specialists are media professionals who are charged with the responsibilities of creating, planning, and executing strategies for shaping the public perception of a company, organization, or brand. 

PR specialists play vital roles in an overall strategy of marketing and publicity that shapes the public opinion of organizations. They work with all parties involved– from the general public to the government, to internal relations with employees and shareholders. 

PR specialists establish a deep relationship with companies to understand what a company values and how that company would like to convey these values to the public. They then develop strategies that will disseminate content that defines and describes these values in ways that people can relate to and understand. 

How your company or brand is perceived is the main focus of PR specialists. Marketing delivers messages that describe your product or service. PR specialists deliver messages that shape the way the public understands the values and beliefs of your company and why you offer these products and services.  

What do PR specialists do?

PR specialists manage media relationships by structuring things like press releases and social media programs. They also manage the communications between a company and its employees. PR specialists shape public opinion toward a company and its products. To achieve these goals, PR specialists break things down into various strategies. These strategies include: 

Newsjacking

Newsjacking is a term to describe the ways PR specialists attach your company’s name to developing news stories. The purpose of doing this is to use the news cycle to gain exposure for your company. 

One example of newsjacking is the process of attaching comments and views from your company to breaking news. This adds the opinions and views of your company to developing news stories as they unfold.  

Newsjacking is a complicated process because it is essential that the opinions and views expressed by your company offer something productive and helpful to the developing news story. There is obviously a risk of this going wrong, which is why top PR specialists are a necessary part of your company’s messaging. 

Storytelling

PR storytelling may sound quaint, but storytelling is one of the most elemental features of good public relations. PR specialists must know how to integrate stories into public communications so that the messaging remains consistent across all media channels. 

Brand storytelling draws the public into the meaning of what your company does and the story of your products and services. Good storytelling adds value to your brand by creating a larger context for your company. PR storytelling situates your brand in the public imagination.  

When PR specialists create narratives and content for brand storytelling, they create a long-lasting impression on the public, one that develops a positive reputation for your company that can eventually be attached to everything you do. 

Content marketing

Content marketing ties into PR storytelling. While storytelling develops the public understanding of what your company is about, content marketing develops the story of what your products or services are about. 

Storytelling demonstrates to the public that you are a leader in your industry. Content marketing delivers the message of how your products or services are the best examples in the industry. These two processes depend on each other as storytelling develops a public perception of your company and content marketing develops the public perception of your specific product or services. 

Content marketing uses things like social media platforms, blogs, and more traditional media to send out content that describes products and services. This means content marketing PR specialists need to have a firm understanding of things like the target audience and target audience media usage habits and preferences. Marketing content PR specialists also need to understand and make use of the best practices of accessing and using media resources. 

Crisis communication

Crisis communication is often what people think of when they imagine what PR specialists do. The process of managing public opinion during a difficult and crisis situation is one of the central tasks of PR specialists.

Any situation that puts your company’s reputation at risk requires the help of PR specialists. No one wants to think about a crisis situation that could damage their company’s reputation, but these situations do arise. This is why it is important to have PR specialists manage these situations. 

The goal of PR specialists in a crisis situation is to protect the company’s reputation. This means that PR specialists formulate and disseminate communications that address difficult situations with messaging that corrects and clarifies the company’s position with regard to bad press or unfortunate events. Crisis communication is one of the most important aspects of PR specialists for an overall marketing and public relations strategy.  

PR strategy

PR strategies are the nuts and bolts of public relations. PR strategy involves the ongoing management of a healthy brand reputation. PR strategy is not something that is formulated once and left on its own. PR strategy is an ongoing and fluid process that continually responds to changing conditions.  

PR strategy involves developing messaging and content that reaches all channels and all audiences. Good PR strategy formulated specific messaging for audiences like the general public, government and regulators, business-to-business relationships, and internal employee relations. 

PR strategy ensures good relationships and maintains the reputation of your company over the long term. It also involves the process of integrating new products and services into the brand reputation. Continuity of messaging and long-term goals are maintained with a PR strategy.

Thought leadership

Thought leadership is, in many ways, an aspect of brand marketing strategies. Thought leadership gives your company the opportunity to share your insights into the development of new products and new processes for delivering services. 

Thought leadership solidifies the authority and expertise of your company within the public imagination and within the business communities. Thought leadership establishes your reputation and leadership in your specific area, a company that sets the standard for the kinds of products and services you offer. 

Media pitching

Media pitching is the process PR specialists use to compel media channels to publicize your company. As opposed to crafting deliberate messages for media channels, media pitching involves presenting the channels with information that they then disseminate themselves. 

Media pitching is a powerful tool for PR specialists since it creates the impression that your company is newsworthy for the best reasons. When your brand reputation is solid, the various media will feel compelled to report on things like news when you are launching a new product. 

Media pitching is another way PR specialists solidify your brand reputation and establish the authority and value of your company. For this reason, media pitching is a great way to attract investors as much as it is a way to develop a customer base.  

How can a PR specialist grow your business?

PR specialists focus on growing the reputation of your brand and elevating your public status. The goal is to grow your business and focus on deliverables. PR Specialists achieve these goals in two ways.  

PR specialists grow awareness of and around your brand. The more people know about you, the more they are going to view your company as one that delivers the products and services they want and need. Growing brand awareness means publicizing the right qualities and values that best represent your brand. 

PR specialists also focus on brand authority. Establishing brand authority means making your brand synonymous with the product and service people are looking for. As PR specialists establish brand authority, they influence public opinion so that when people search for a product or service, they search specifically for your brand.  

In essence, PR specialists establish trust between your company and potential customers with the establishment of solid brand awareness and brand authority. 

Difference between PR vs. Marketing

It is easy to confuse PR and marketing since both are involved in increasing awareness of your brand. The primary difference between PR and marketing is the specific areas they focus on when it comes to publicity. 

The main goals and concerns of PR are the perceptions of your company overall. PR develops public opinion surrounding your company, your company and brand values, and the kinds of relationships you foster in communities and with other companies. 

Marketing focuses on promoting specific products and services. The main goal of marketing is to directly influence sales. 

Both PR and marketing are linked in terms of furthering the goals of your company. Marketing benefits of good PR, and PR can better achieve its goals with good marketing. 

PR specialist Skills

Public relations is a vast and complex field that often requires specialized skills that involve digital technology. But PR specialists rely primarily on some key skills that have been the bedrock of successful public relations for a long time. The key skills for PR specialists include: 

 

  • Honesty. In public relations, your reputation is key. 
  • Knowledge and research. 
  • Relationship-building skills. 
  • Multi-tasking in a high-pressure work environment. 
  • Attention to detail. 
  • Adapts to change. 
  • Strategic thinking. 
  • Social media savvy.

 

PR specialist FAQS

What is a PR specialist? Simply put, a PR specialist is a media professional who is charged with the responsibilities of creating, planning, and executing strategies for shaping the public perception of a company, organization, or brand. 

What do PR specialists do? PR specialists manage media relationships by structuring things like press releases and social media programs. They also manage the communications between a company and its employees. PR specialists shape public opinion toward a company and its products.

What is the difference between PR and Marketing? The main goals and concerns of PR are the perceptions of your company overall. PR develops public opinion surrounding your company, your company and brand values, and the kinds of relationships you foster in communities and with other companies. Marketing focuses on promoting specific products and services. The main goal of marketing is to directly influence sales. 

Public relations have become an essential part of growing a successful business. Public relations not only build your public profile, but it also sustains that profile in the most beneficial and far-reaching ways. To achieve your public relations goals you need the best PR specialists. 

As you can see from this guide, there is a lot to effective public relations. To get the most out of public relations, you can leave things to PR specialists who are knowledgeable and will invest themselves in the success of your company. HeyDay Marketing Services provides PR specialists that will help your business grow. HeyDay Marketing can address all the various types of public relations in ways that serve your business needs. 

HeyDay Marketing Services can build a public relations campaign that will position your brand as a leader in your industry and create a positive image for your business in the media. We can help you build community relations that will suture your company in a local community. 

HeyDay Marketing Services offers several packages for you to find the public relations campaign that works for your company. We understand that one size does not fit all. For sound public relations strategies that work, allow HeyDay Marketing Services to take over the public relations for your business.

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