07 March, 2011


Public relations is one vital aspect of the communication mix which business owners still fail to optimize its usage. What then annoys its practitioners is when they are being seen as ad people.

What is PR?
PR as a concept, allows favourable ties, contacts, dealings and relations for organisations, products/services, places, institutions, events, persons etc with its stakeholder groups through diverse media. It also can be seen as developing a brand identity for an entity with its stakeholders (employees, suppliers, resellers, end-users, shareholders, financial agencies, journalists as well as government officials) Ismael D. Tabije sees PR as the art and science of managing communications between an organisation and its key publics to build, manage and sustain its positive image. Put in another way, PR deals with image enhancement and reputation management.

PR has evolved over time, that is to say that conventional methods of gaining publics' attention through print and broadcast media can no longer be sustained in this flat world which we presently find ourselves. Practitioners and proactive business persons now use social media, bulk sms as well as viral marketing to support their PR tactics. PR now entails managing conflict/crises that impend the image or reputation of an entity in focus. It has incorporated corporate social responsibility (CSR) in building goodwill among an organisation's external stakeholders. PR intimately monitors and samples public opinion as far as an organisation, product/service is concerned. PR creates awareness and favourable stories by the use of third-party endorsement for products and organisations. Unlike the cost of advertising, PR is relatively cheap.

Even though PR, ad, and other forms of communication in the marketing mix are employed to reach a targeted audience, PR and these forms of communication are not one and the same thing. One strong argument to this end is because PR capitalizes on the influence of third-party. As a result, PR as a form communication can be and it's been used to brand or re-brand an entity if the need arises. Thus, once this is done, customers/public turnout increases as well as the ROI.