PR can be a hard concept to get your head around. You can’t really see it. You can’t really measure it. Evidence of PR efforts can be shown via the tactics executed; but while measuring is attempted; ultimately PR is intangible.
You can’t put a dollar figure on changing someone’s opinion. You can’t comodify emotion. You can’t track word-of-mouth that stretches a lifetime and can strike at any moment. This is PR in real life.
PR is not the behemoth that people think it is. Perhaps consider that it is actually quite simple. Not easy. But the concept is simple.
PR is about connecting people. That’s it. It’s about bringing people together who can bring value to each other’s life. No, PR is definitely not marketing. PR is a tool that marketers use. PR is about connecting like-minded people; that’s it.
Also PR is not publicity. Often PR professionals are introduced as publicists. And while there are some publicists out there (they specialise in generating publicity alone), PR as a job or industry rather, is the coordinated effort to build the relationships inside and outside a business or for an individual. Publicity is one tool that we use. Publicity is just one potential outcome of PR. But PR is not publicity alone. Introducing a PR pro as a publicist is like introducing a builder friend as that hammers nails.
PR is finding the unique stories that surround a person, place or thing to build communities. It’s about romancing potential friends so that they can enjoy wonderful like-minded conversation, ideas and inspiration together. Meaningful PR will communicate thoughtfully to build relationships that grow over time and that result in bringing people and brands together so that they can prosper.
PR is about connecting people through emotion, through stories that engage, enlighten, inform and entertain in ways that will be positively remembered. How those stories are brought to life and syndicated to the world can manifest in many different ways.
Therein lies the confusion. The confusion is in the ‘how do you do it (PR)?’ But the ‘what’ is simple.