By Louise Findlay-Wilson, Creator of PrPro and owner of Energy PR
I’ve lost count of the number of companies who have told me they don't 'do' Public Relations (PR). They mean they don't 'do' media relations (no doubt because they think PR stands for press releases). While it's true they often don't do any kind of media work, I hate to break it to them, they’re still doing PR.
They're 'doing' PR every time their receptionist answers the phone, every time a prospect walks into their store, every time they bump into someone at a networking breakfast. They are 'doing PR' when they chat about their business at a social event, when they attend a trade show or send an email.
That's because PR is "The planned and sustained communications between an organisation and the audiences that matter to it - driving that audience to behave in a certain way." In other words it's the stuff you do in your business day in day out. It's that NFU Insurance office worker who is really attentive - because NFU knows that if it's to avoid simply competing on price it needs me to love its service.
It's that 'do you need a bag?' question, used by supermarket checkout staff, because the supermarket wants to improve its green credentials by prompting us all to use our Bag for Life. It's the 'would you like fries with that?' question that every McDonalds server asks in order to up-sell to you (trust me that question is so planned & sustained). It's Abercrombie & Fitch's bare-chested young male sales staff - who are not only providing some in-store eye candy but are implicitly saying 'these are clothes for good looking, fit, young, confident people. We're different, are you?'
Let's not forget the bad examples too, after all there are so many of them...such as the endless number of companies who send me sales literature addressed to Mr Findlay-Wilson. They're selling me nothing other than the idea they're sloppy, sexist or both!
So forget weighing-up whether or not you should be 'doing PR'. Trust me you're already doing it. The real question is whether you're doing it well or not!
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