09 Feb Putting the “Relations” Back Into Public Relations
“We’re bringing Relations back.” — LT “Timberlake” PR
Sometimes folks forget what the two words are in PR . . . PUBLIC and RELATIONS.
Public can mean many things to many people, but LT Public Relations simply defines it as our client’s audience. Whoever our client is trying to influence or communicate to (i.e. its audience) is its “public.” See, that was simple. It may not be simple for some to truly understand who their target audience is–but that’s a whole other issue we may cover in a later blog.
The more challenging of the two PR words is “relations.” Let’s first leave the definition to the experts . . . Merriam Webster defines “relations” as (1) a person connected by consanguinity or affinity (2): a person legally entitled to a share of the property of an interstate (3) relationship by consanguinity or affinity: kinship
Can’t argue with Merriam Webster.
But LT Public Relations goes a step further to truly understanding “relations.” For good relations to exist, communication is vital. Ongoing, transparent, clear, consistent and honest communications.
Relations must be long lasting. Excuse the overused cliche, but public relations is a marathon . . . not a sprint. This is a relationship that will take time to cultivate and to further establish understanding and trust. Folks often use PR as a “one night stand” and expect miracles to happen with its audience (e.g. one positive coverage on CNBC is great, but it will be short-lived in the memory of the target audience).
Relations also takes interaction. Sending notes and other correspondence is a start, but nothing is better when the “public” is able to see the whites of our client’s eyes. That is, relationships grow when there is positive in-person interaction (e.g. handshakes, meetings, presentations, dinners, etc. etc. etc.).
Relations also means going through the tough times. When things are bad in a relationship, most people at least try to do the right things to salvage the relationship, right? So why would anyone stop public relations now during the hard times? Right now, public relations in a bad economy is just as critical as public relations in a good economy–If not more important. All depends on the importance of the relationship. If the relationship is important (and it usually is in our clients’ case), then cutting PR doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
You get the point (we hope). No need to belabor the issue . . . except to underscore that good, healthy relationships need time, nurturing, and attention to thrive.
Want stronger relations with your public? Contact us (pr@ltpublicrelations) . . . we’ll extend a hand.