Robert Wynne, Forbes contributor, defines what Public Relations Agencies do in his article "What Does A Public Relations Agency Do?" He starts by outlining what what PR firms don't do.
They don't buy ads, or write stories for reporters. They don't sell ad space or come up with ad campaigns to sell products to consumers.
He goes on to describe what PR firms actually do. A PR firm is something distinct and separate from an ad agency. PR firms "promote companies or individuals via editorial coverage. This is known as “earned” or “free” media — stories appearing on websites, newspapers, magazines and TV programs — as compared to “paid media” or advertisements."
The goals of Ad agencies and PR agencies are the same. They're both attempting to paint the best possible light. They're attempting to create an image of trustworthiness and credibility to whomever has retained their services.
So, what's the difference? Well, advertising is generally looked at as a sort of self-promotion. The client pays an ad company to create a campaign that promotes them. PR on the other hand is less about delivering a message to the audience, and more about maintaining a dialog between a client and their audience. It's about understanding the client, whether it's a company or an individual, well enough to see how to best represent them in the media. It's helping clients put their best foot forward so to speak.
The role of the PR agency or professional can be thought of as that of a mediator between the client and their audience. Can be a helpful partner in implementing ways for a company or indivual to "talk" to their audience. They promote the positive image of clients through media stories, and because they are not direct employees of their clients they are supposed to be able to give an outsiders perspective with regards to what's working with their client's image and what isn't. This seems like it would really come down to how scrupulous the company really is.
According to Wynne many PR professionals are former journalists who know how to pitch stories to editors. If the story sounds good then the editor may put a journalist on it to investigate and report back in as unbiased way as they can. This removes the money trail. At this point it's on the journalist to report whether or not the company is on the up-and-up no matter how good the hors d'oeuvres are at the PR event.
PR professionals also write speeches to make sure the CEOs of client companies are delivering a message the is in line with the image they are trying to promote. They are paid to be aware of topics that may be of a sensitive nature to an audience and avoid them. In short they are paid to know who to talk to and how to talk to them on behalf of a client. Many times this involves knowing which medium to best reach an audience through.
Wynne describes PR firms as an investment for companies. PR firms promote an active relationship between clients and their audiences. A client describes what image they want to portray and where they want it seen and it's up to PR firms to make that happen.
Wynne, Robert. "What Does A Public Relations Agency Do?" Forbes. N.p., 10 Apr. 2013. Web. 12 Sept. 2014.
For this week's entry I chose to do a close reading of an article I found while searching for something related to PR. 5 Tools Modern PR Pros Can Use to Maximize ROI discusses the question which Shakespeare asked ages ago, what's in a name.
"In a world where office managers have become “Campus Innovation Advocates” and HR reps have metamorphosed into “Company Culture Experts”, it’s no doubt that the act of reinventing traditional roles has benefits beyond morale."
Apparently, a good deal of depth. What I initially thought was hair splitting semantics may actually play a role in how an employee feels about the work they're doing.
"the titles of today push employees to redefine their place and purpose within an organization. Case in point: diet ice cream is far less inspiring than sorbet. Which makes you want an extra scoop?"
This is a compelling analogy and some decent writing. It also smacks a bit of spin and Orwellian doublespeak. Do these fancy titles actually mean anything special? Do they actually motivate workers or define roles? I don't know, but I'm sure it feels better to write something like that on a resume.
"Sure — there’s the fun-factor, but reinvention also raises expectations for roles altogether, and if you want your company to be cutting edge, you’ll want to consider some role revamps during your next round of organizational restructuring."
I don't know how "fun" these titles are. Funny perhaps, but not really fun. I do like the concept that with a big fancy title comes further responsibility. There's a troubling term in this quotation and that's "organizational restructuring."
To find out what it meant I did a quick search and found a website with a workable definition. However, even the definition is business jargon and boils down to entire departments of people being let go. Fired.
Later in the article the author references another post which makes a case for why every company needs an English major. Companies need more wordsmiths.
The author discusses how the most effective PR professionals have, in recent years, expanded their skill set to include a better grasp on data literacy, strategy, community, measurement and more. Thus these folks get an interesting, "fun-factor" packed new title as well. It's PR Engineer.
The author explains that the real difference between the two is that a PR Engineer has to have more data literacy to make more informed decisions. Does there actually need to be a difference in terms here?
The list of tools to maximize return on investment are as follows
1. HubSpot is a tool to which covers search engine optimization and social media tracking, content creation, e-books and conversion.
2. Flurry is a number of analytics products that measures consumer behavior, advertises to your A-list audience, and monetizes apps. Their blog is a good resource for information about mobile behavior..
3. Quora is a content platform that lets users get their message out on news sites.
4. PR.co is a tool that can create an all-inclusive, online pressrooms for clients. Users create a page that allows journalists or clients easy access to all the PR info they might need.
5. Marketo covers any marketing requirements you may have.
For this first blog feel free to talk about what you don't know about social media or your early impressions of social media
My intention with this entry is to talk freely about my reflections on my impressions of this class and my early impressions of Social Media.
I'm taking both the strategic social media and PR classes. The courses seem to run parallel and that could be confusing.
I wonder how involved with these programs I'm supposed to be. I think that the decision to take part in social media is really a decision about how much free time you want to dedicate to sitting in front of a computer of tapping away at a phone inches in front of your face. So far, I have engaged in social media in a rather limited way and on my own terms.
I have a Facebook which I use primarily for staying in touch with my friends and promoting my website. I'm a member of a number of automotive groups and if I write anything that pertains to them I post it on their wall. I write articles on the restoration of my old Ford and I cover car shows. Occasionally I get something front paged on Jalopnik.com. I use Facebook to stay in touch with my contact at Jalopnik.
I see Twitter as another avenue for me to expose people to my writing. With each new blog entry I send out tweet. On my site I encourage people to follow me on Twitter. I get emails from Ford enthusiasts from all over. I respond to each of them. My philosophy is that this time is being well spent. They took the time to read my work and contact me so the least I can do is send them a quick thank you and try to answer any question they may have.
I don't know the first thing about this.
I joined but it is not immediately apparent how this is better than my personal site.