Neha Singh, owner of public relations agency Encore Media promoting all-things-Asian,explains why public relations is all about relationships.

“What do you do for a living?” It’s the most common question that people ask me. I am into public relations, I reply. My reply elicits various responses from people who assume that my job is about sending out press releases to the media, ordering journalists to write stories for my clients, and a push of a button on my phone will get my client on a radio or TV channel interview. Well, I won’t completely deny all the above but I am not even saying a big ‘Yes’ because that is just one part of public relations. As a matter of fact, I don’t order journalists to write stories about my clients because I don’t pay them. And it’s a myth that a press release or a phone call will get the media run behind my client.

Only if my client is Bill Gates, then yes. May be the media would like to say ‘hello’ to him but again no guarantee of a story (read media coverage) here; not even a positive one.
I find that very few people understand what people in public relations really do. As the owner of a boutique PR agency, I believe it is my responsibility to make people understand more about public relations.

So what exactly is PR?

The internet defines public relations (PR) as a specialised form of communication that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organisations and their publics.
In simple words, PR is about developing relationships with public and media. Here the public could be anyone from your potential customer or client, employee, investor, government or regulatory body and/or the media.

The relationship with the media is called media relations and it all comes under the umbrella of public relations. And public relations is all about establishing and maintaining relationships.

Now how will PR help you or your business?

As I said earlier that public relations is all about relationships, let me tell you again that
it is this relationship which helps businesses to stand out from their competitors. As PR professionals, we work to inform your public about you, promote your products, business and services, and thereby reaching out to your potential customers. We do all this by helping you build and maintain relationships with your targeted public and media, who matter to you and your business both. From winning more clients to selling music albums and books to getting paid appearances or brand endorsement opportunities; PR can help you achieve your ultimate personal or business objectives.

But how will you do it?

Through storytelling, building the client’s profile and reputation, and communicating with their target audience. A feature about your business in a magazine targeting your potential customer, your comments on a trending topic in a newspaper, or an interview on radio and/or TV will create just the right amount of awareness about you, your product, business
or service among your target audience. It will help you to establish your image in the media and your industry. Above all, PR will help you build your brand. But you must remember that Rome was not built in a day; nor are brands.

By sending out a press release and getting a one-off feature or interview in the press won’t do wonders for your business. You need to create and manage a long-term relationship with the media and your target audience in order to add value to your product, service, and your overall business. A consistent and sustainable communication is crucial to achieve effective public relations results. So if you have been thinking of public relations as a one-off media release to be written and distributed for your business then it’s time to re-think your business strategy. A well-planned, long-term approach to PR with consistent and
strategic messaging will help your business grow and achieve long-term results.

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