In the recent years, the Public Relations field has gained a huge overwhelming attention. From authors to actors, from company to its products, from scams to CEOs, from sportsmen to politicians: every communication made to the public is planned by the publicist. A publicist is a person who is responsible for publicising. In simple words, Public Relation is the management of communication between the client and the public.
Public Relation handles the appearance of the client to the outside world. This outside world consist the client’s investors, customers, followers, employees and many other stakeholders. The client can be an individual, a company or even a brand. It is very important to understand the value of portraying oneself in front of the public. What do you say? How do you say it? How the public does comprehends it? What is public’s reaction? Are they happy or annoyed? Everything matters!
If you annoy your customers by stating something they don’t like, you’re going to lose your sales and the customers for eternity. In today’s world, brand loyalty is precious. You want to build a brand, capture the market share, increase the product sales but at the same time, build brand loyalty. By no means, you would like to lose your customers to your competitors. You want your customers to make repeat purchases for your product. This is a very common site when it comes to online shopping where there are many players. When visit their site for the very first time, they offer you discount for registering with them. You make a purchase with them, you get a discount. They even give you customer loyalty points which can be redeemed. It is as simple as that. They do not want to lose you to their counterparts who offer the same products at more or less the same price.
You hire an external agency to represent you, your company or your brand. What this external agency really does is, it reflects your brand in every press release or events. For example, Maybelline India has roped in Alia Bhatt as their brand ambassador in all their campaigns. Since her first day in Bollywood, Alia has been known for her carefree attitude and chic style, just as classy as the Maybelline brand is.
Public Relation also helps in managing media relations for a company. Usually, CEOs are very shy to be interviewed by reporters. They doubt how the reporters would assess these individuals’ performance depending upon their prior experience and credibility. This shyness and skepticism can be overcome by the help of a publicist. This publicist can guide the CEOs on how to answer the questions and build credibility in front of the public.
From press release, speech writing, promotions and holding various events to release information in the public domain, Public Relations has moved to a new platform of online PR. You will find many CEO Blogs. These blogs are written by their PR personnel. The things posted in these blogs are exactly what they want the public to perceive the CEO as.
I happened to watch an episode of one the most beloved show on Indian television, ‘Comedy Nights with Kapil’. The guest was Rajat Sharma, one of the greatest personalities in Media, who came to promote his show ‘Aap Ki Adalat’. The comedy show’s set was changed slightly by including a witness box mainly found in a court, the exact setup of Rajat’s show. Even the pattern of the show was changed as Rajat interviewed Kapil which is usually vice-a-versa. This interview was held to promote the relaunch of Rajat’s show.
There is a term called ‘ghost writing’ which is pretty unfamiliar to the public. However, this concept exists since the early 19th century. Ghost writing is also one of the stunts of Public Relation. A ghost writer is hired to edit or write a book, a play or a song for somebody else. This is common when an autobiography is written of any famous personality. The ghost writer is anon to the public. The content written is to give a good picture of the person to its readers. This is even followed across the music industry when the singers by themselves are unable to come up with any good lyrics.
The number of benefits derived by employing Public Relation cannot be counted on the finger tips. First is building an image. For example, a small town boy makes it to the Indian Cricket Team. If he hires a PR for himself, the PR will instruct him which events to attend, when to give an interview, what should he say, which brands he should sign to advertise, amongst many other things. This is building an image. Same goes for Building a Brand. The advantage of having a good brand in the market is that it becomes easy to launch a new brand under the successful brand umbrella. The French cosmetic brand L’Oreal has been successful in launching brands under L’Oreal Group such as YSL, Giorgio Armani, Lancome, Ralph Lauren, Diesel, Garnier, Matrix, Vichy, Body Shop and the list goes on.
Public Relation has helped many celebrities to stay out of trouble. But, Public Relation personnel are also being hired to get them out of trouble i.e. Crisis Management. In fact, PR can also help in reviving the lost reputation. The most common technique of reviving lost reputation or publicity can be found on Indian Television. The celebs that are not to be seen on the screen for years now, come back to host dance competitions or participate in reality shows.
PR is the most useful way to reach the public and communicate with them effectively. It also helps in changing the perception of the public towards the company or the individual. Hold a press conference where the public representatives (the media reporters) are present to ask questions. The questions are satisfactorily answered by the individuals and their publicist. Through this, one can easily handle the public affairs and the investor interests are also not jeopardised.
So, Go Ahead and Hire a PR!
Article by Divyanka Gangurde