Public relations specialists are all about building, managing, and influencing public perception. This could be the perception of an individual, group, or organization.
Their goal is to maintain a positive image among the general public. They also manage any public setbacks to restore their client or employer’s standing.
Public relations is such a varied profession. PR specialists often take on lots of different responsibilities, including (but not limited to!):
- Developing strategies and campaigns to improve or maintain public reputation
- Building relationships with journalists, influencers, and media outlets
- Monitoring media coverage
- Writing press releases to announce things like venue openings, product launches, events, company developments, and research findings. News outlets then use this information in their coverage
- Organizing interviews between their client or employer and different media outlets
- Arranging tours, trips, appointments, and other ways for media to engage with their client or employer
- Managing issues that affect their client's or employer’s public reputation (crisis management)
- Writing speeches and responses on behalf of their client or employer
- Maintaining their client's or employer’s image on social media and other platforms
Public relations and advertising often get mixed up, but the two are quite different. Advertising is paid media, whereas public relations is earned media. In advertising, a company might pay for a full-page ad in a magazine. But a public relations specialist will use their relationships and influence with media outlets and encourage journalists to write articles about the company.