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Public Relations (PR) is the process of gathering and disseminating information about a particular person, government, or organisation to the public in order to affect public perception, usually positively. Public relations do not necessarily involve exposure or publicity but the maintenance of a particular image among the current sphere of influence. Public Relations management entails the strategic use of public communications channels effectively to alter public perception while disseminating the required message to the community. This is usually employed by companies, governments and high-profile celebrities almost all the time, although this more attention by the public when they are subject to criticism and use PR to effectively manage it. PR agencies are companies composed of professionals who are qualified and experienced in the fields on public relations, communication, psychology and similar fields to effectively manage an entity’s public image through various techniques. This can range from managing social media accounts, drafting letters and engaging with customers to releasing press statements, writing blog posts, manage relationships with mass media companies and publish other “earned” media articles to promote their client.

Celebrities and companies mostly engage with the public through social media. Therefore, PR agencies serving these groups would mostly be managing their social media profiles. This is not to say that these profiles will be run full time by a PR agency but rather that they are likely to be operated under the guidance and monitoring of a PR firm, especially during uncertain times such as when a controversial decision has been taken by a company. As opposed to companies like Facebook advertising agency Brisbane, PR firms do not engage in paid marketing (or advertising) but rather promote or provide coverage to their clients through editorials – known as ‘earned’ or ‘free’ media. These are stories, articles, or blog posts that appear on websites, newspapers, and magazines as content, rather than advertisement. PR firms also engage in market research to gain a better understanding of their clients’ place in the market as well as their customers.

PR agencies also advice companies on how to best communicate their statements to the public. They are involved in writing press releases, speeches, marketing pitches etc. which protect, enhance, or build company reputations through the media. If the company is about to announce something controversial, or announce bad news, PR consultants can formulate a strategy to answer questions and mitigate reputational damage that can occur.

As certain corporate incidents have shown us during the past years, some companies are notoriously bad at dealing with the public and their own customers. Hence, PR companies are expected to be able to deal with crises which risk reputational damage to their clients. Public communications are subject to greater scrutiny in times of crisis, and the assistance of PR agencies can allow the companies to mitigate the damage and come through unscathed.

In the long term, public relations can be seen as a key investment in the brand value of a company, and increase its visibility, and reputation in the market.

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