Just what is PR?

That, is a very good question. It’s one that is the subject of book after book, academic paper after academic paper and so on.

The Chartered Institute of Public Relations says this:



The Public Relations Consultants Association says this:

And if you can’t read that, it’s this:

Public relations is all about reputation. It’s the result of what you do, what you say, and what others say about you. It is used to gain trust and understanding between an organisation and its various publics – whether that’s employees, customers, investors, the local community – or all of those stakeholder groups. Public relations professionals use many different techniques as part of their PR campaigns. From media relations and lobbying, to speaking at conferences, to online viral campaigns, to sponsorship – and more. PR isn’t always about short-term campaigns, such as product launches. It can encompass longer-term strategic aims, such as brand building and working with local communities.

How does it differ from advertising? With PR, a company does not pay the newspapers and TV channels for the media exposure it secures. It’s this third-party endorsement that gives PR its power and credibility. How does PR benefit a company? Public relations can play a critical role in achieving a competitive advantage by, for example, opening new markets, attracting high-calibre employees, giving more access to funding and investors, creating a high value for products and services, and protecting businesses in times of crisis. All organisations, whether local or international, big or small, benefit from public relations. – See more at: http://www.prca.org.uk/What_is_PR#sthash.J70r4TB1.dpuf


Just out of interest, across that big pond we call the Atlantic Ocean, the Public Relations Society of America says:

“Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”

But, what is PR, and what does it mean for you?

I’ll tell you what I think it is and what I think it is not.

I think PR is about understanding you and your place in whatever environment you find yourself in. It’s about shaping how others talk about you and what people believe about you.

You can shape perception and reputation. There are tools such as media relations, press releases and features, and social media such as Twitter and LinkedIn, Google + and Facebook. PR is more than a press release. It’s more than a soundbite. It’s about relationships.

At the heart of if it are behaviour and action.

What are your actions? What have you done in order to build a reputation, whatever that reputation aim is?

If you want to be known as someone who is philanthropic, what have you done to achieve this?

If you want to be known as a community campaigner, what have you done?

And if you want to be seen as a leader of people, quite how do you back it up?

Reputations can be flimsy old things; a veil of awareness built on many actions, shattered by just one.

If you need any help in PR, make it an action to give me a call on 07854 689914 or email wayneswiffin@mandatumpr.co.uk