6 PR principles we often forget

6 PR principles we often forget

Amongst the tumultuous, unpredictable changes in the industry, the basics of what we aim to accomplish as PR professionals may sometimes become overlooked.

Particularly in times when you feel stuck, it’s important to stop and evaluate your progress. I’ve found it most helpful to go back to the basics and think about what we were really striving for.

In the whirlwind of delivering results, some PR principles are often forgotten. Here are just a few--once resurfaced--can help re-center your program.

1. Communications is an extension of the business--not a standalone activity

Any communication or PR plan must ultimately contribute to achieving a company’s business objectives. If it doesn’t, then there might not be a good reason to put it in motion.

2. Public relations is a long-term process, not a short-term solution

Despite what some movies or TV shows would have people believe, there is no way to PR your way out of a crisis--you can minimize the damage, but can’t talk your way out of a problem you business’ed your way into. Developing, nurturing, and enhancing a reputation is a strategy for success that takes time.

3. A reputation can be tarnished in a matter of minutes

If a reputation takes time to develop, there’s a strong likelihood that repairing it may take even longer. There are times when businesses make business decisions and it’s our jobs as counselors to consider the reputational effect they may have on our companies or clients.

4. What a company or spokesperson does or says sets the agenda for future conversations

This is something that we’re currently experiencing in the political world, but we also see it when, for example, experts comb through the Federal Reserve’s statements and pick out specific words--individual words--that sum up the U.S.’s economic status. Or when individual CEOs make off-the-cuff statements that shadow him or her for years to come. They can help to set the agenda of future conversations or areas of focus--sometimes for better, and sometimes for worse.  

5. Relationship-building is not transactional

I’ve written before that media relations is not transactional, but it also applies to all stakeholders one company or entity has. We sometimes have high expectations for a first-time exchange, when we know that networking and building relationships is the foundation for a fruitful business exchange.  

6. Timing can be everything

I personally believe that life is all about timing, and something similar could be said about PR. How and when you choose to act, speak out, or announce could have a tremendous impact on the results of your efforts. Sometimes it’s in our control and sometimes it’s not, but using timing wisely can be considered strategy.

Julia Sahin works in financial communications at one of the largest PR firms in New York and is a monthly contributor to Muck Rack. She plans on doing big things. Connect with her on Twitter. All opinions should be seen as her own and do not reflect her employer’s.

Photo via Pixabay

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