What is Public Relations? Does your business need PR?

By Annalee Tacuri

What is PR? It’s a simple question that many business owners ask MACIAS PR in conversations. In short, Public Relations introduces your brand or story directly to consumers through a third source. The media is one of the most popular platforms used in PR. Unlike advertising, public relations doesn’t buy media placements. The PR firm places your story in the media.

How is PR different from advertising?

  • Credibility: When commercials appear, you just want them to be over and return back to what you were watching. Consumers don’t trust ads, because the ads are trying to sell you a product. However, a TV segment brings more credibility to your product or service since it’s coming from the media.
  • Target Audience: Ads focus on targeting potential customers. PR can also target your desired customer by placing stories in the desired media outlet. But unlike advertising, PR continues working for your business long after the budget is over. With advertising, your ads are immediately pulled when your budget runs out.
  • Goals: Public Relations builds brand awareness through influential media placements. They also build trust with consumers who watch the story on TV or read it in the newspaper.

Breakdown of Public Relations

Public Relations has many facets. It can tell your story through different channels. Common services that the best PR firms provide are:

  • Strategy consulting: Every PR campaign is different, since every business is unique. Under this approach, a publicist will analyze your company and goals to create a strategy that is right for your business. For example, do you want to increase your sales or drive more credibility to your product? Maybe you want to create a new sales platform. A strategic plan can help in this area.
  • Social media: A consistent social media presence with quality content will build up the brand of your business, and improve your ranking with the search engines.
  • Media relations: This component of PR will help you get your story in front of reporters. A publicist will tell your story directly to reporters, journalists or producers and try to get them to do a story on your business.
  • Content marketing: To increase organic web traffic and user time on the website, the best PR firms will utilize blogs and news outlets to create high quality content about your product or service.
  • Digital marketing:  An important factor on a website’s ranking on Google search is its SEO – also known as Search Engine Optimization. The PR firm can help optimize the SEO of your website to drive more organic web traffic and improve user loyalty.
  • Crisis communication: The top rated PR firms will provide media training to react to any negative situation or press releases against the business.

The Value of PR

Earned media can help your business grow new customers and make new sales even after the PR campaign is done. Here are three ways that PR brings value to your business:

  • Manage reputation: A PR firm will manage what the media is communicating about your business to the public. So when an issue regarding your business arises,  a PR firm will use strategies to minimize the damage to your brand.
  • Recruit talent: Prospective employees will be interested in your company when they see it covered in the media. The more high profiled your business is, the more interested bright and talented potential employees will be.
  • Attract Investors: Investors will be impressed to see how your company appeared in a prestigious news outlet. The right media placements would lead to investors attract to invest in your business.

About Macias PR 

MACIAS PR was founded in 2009 by Mark Macias – a former executive producer with NBC, senior producer with CBS in New York and author of the business books Beat the Press: Your Guide to Managing the Media and The Tao of PR. In 2017 and 2018, MACIAS PR was named the Strategic PR Firm of the Year by marketing peers. In 2015, 2016 and 2017, Finance Monthly named MACIAS PR the Financial PR Firm of the Year based on their media deliverables, expertise and innovation in PR.

MACIAS PR has run branding, media and crisis campaigns for tech and healthcare organizations, financial groups, nonprofit organizations, politicians and trade organizations. The firm is based in New York City.