Public relations involve a variety of programs designed to promote and/or protect a company’s image or its individual products among public.
A public is any group that has an actual or potential interest in or impact on a company’s ability to achieve its objectives.
The Public Relations (PR) Department or Activity
Public relations is an important marketing tool. A public can help or hinder a company's ability to achieve it objectives.
The PR department monitors the attitudes of the organization’s publics and distributes information and communications to build goodwill. Public relations can potentially impact public awareness of a company and its brands and products at a fraction of the cost of advertising.
The PR departments perform the following activities to promote various causes, issues and organizations.
Press relations: Releasing news and information about organization to the press in the most positive light that helps build brand image for the company and improve sales in case of sales promotions.
Product publicity: Sponsoring various efforts to get good coverage of the company and its products in various pubic events. For example, some body from the company addresses a gathering or a seminar. PR persons arrange such opportunities.
Corporate communications: Developing materials with detailed information that promotes understanding of the organization and its activities by external entities as well as internal employees.
Lobbying: Communicating with legislators and government officials to promote legislation and regulation that helps in growth of the organization and to defeat legislation that is not in interest of the company.
Counseling: Advising managements public perception on the company position, suggesting measures to improve the company image.
Marketing public relations is a specialized PR segment with a special constituency, the marketing function of the company.
Marketing Public Relations (MPR)
The importance of public relations activity to marketing process is recognized by many companies and marketing public relations departments (MPRs) are being set up either as a part of marketing function or as a part of public relations functions. The MPR section can better understand the marketing objectives and programmes of the company and carry out its PR activity to contribute to the achievement of marketing plans. MPR needs to evaluate the return on investment on its various activities and propose funds for PR activities or programmes as a part of marketing budget.
Major Decisions in Marketing PR
Setting the objectives
The objectives can be one of the following:
1. Build awareness for the product.
2. Build credibility
3. Stimulate sales force and dealers dispersed around the country
4. Complement the sales promotion and hold down promotion costs
Choosing PR messages and vehicles
Implementing the MPR plan through a program
Evaluating the MPR program
An Interesting Illustration
Smart MPR practioners can find or create stories about even mundane products and get press support as well as audience for events. Kotler described the work of a public relations firm for the cat food category, Star-Kist Foods' 9-Lives. The firm organized a Morris "look-alike' content. Morris is the name of the cat used by the firm its advertisements. A book titled Morris, an Intimate Biography was proposed. Local cat shows were organized and the Morris awards were given. A movement with the message "adopt-a-cat a month" was launched with Morris as the spokescat. A booklet "The Morris Method" on cat care was produced and distributed. These publicity activities that involved cat owners in various activities stregthened the brand's market share.
Philip Kotler, Marketing Management (Basic text for revision articles)
Some Marketing Public Relations Firms
ABI Marketing Public Relations, http://www.abipr.com/
Sawmill Marketing Public Relations, http://www.sawmillmarketing.com/
Originally posted in
Knol number 145