As CEO, your view of public relations impacts your entire company, including your company’s bottom line. If your definition of public relations is off base, you might be hindering relationships with the very customers with which you want to connect.
Let’s take a look at a few definitions of PR that could lead your company astray, and then we will take a look at an alternative view of public relations.
In August 1978, the World Assembly of Public Relations Associations defined PR as “the art and social science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counseling organizational leaders, and implementing planned programs of action, which will serve both the organization and the public interest.”
In 2012 PRSA used crowdsourcing to redefine PR as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.”
While these definitions have some merit, they don’t get to the root of why people engage with a company. A mutually beneficial relationship might be your company’s ultimate goal, but that is not a priority for buyers. No customer wakes up in the morning, jingles the coins in his or her pocket and says, “What company can I benefit today by giving them my money?” It doesn’t happen. But customers do wake up thinking about how they are going to address the major issues they are facing that day. When they find a company that can help them address those issues, the mutually beneficial relationship begins.
So instead of beginning with the sole goal of building mutually beneficial relationships (i.e. worrying too much about what you are getting out of the relationship), find a way to address what is on your customer’s mind by using communication to provide content that will help your customers address their most pressing needs.
With this in mind, consider SowGrow PR’s alternative view of public relations:
Public relations is reaching out and responding to the people that matter most to your company to provide them with resources and content that will help them address their high-priority needs.
Take this opportunity to examine your company’s PR efforts. Do your company’s PR efforts align with an inward-focused view of PR or a customer-focused view? An inward-focused view of PR will alienate people every time, but a customer-focused view of PR is the winning strategy to attract people to your company.