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What is “Public Relations?”

PRPublic relations, part of the Marketing family, has been  undergoing a face lift recently. In a recent LinkedIn conversation regarding the importance of relationships with media and analysts, many PR pros admitted that their success was determined by their close ties to media. That, to LBM, is a given. The discussion also included how social media has affected today’s PR strategies and that media relations were no longer an important component to achieve messaging success. Social media has become the new middle-man between media and PR pros, diluting the need for mutually respectful relationships where news can be shared. Social media is here to stay in our professions but it also deserves scrutiny and discretion on both sides. That is not to say that social media does not have its place in public relations, on the contrary, it has a very important role, but it cannot be the only conduit of information from PR pros or the sole source of information for media. Where social media fails is that media pros, in an effort to be the first with the breaking news (and ratings), cannot confidently rely on the social media sources. This is where this bond between PR and media pros shines brightest. People in public relations and media, for the most part, are trained professionals with a passion for news and a belief in truth and integrity. When a PR pro issues a release through standard channels and Tweets and Posts likewise, the story is built  upon a solid foundation of research and truth.

Public relations is now defined as “a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationship between organizations and their publics.”( PR pros utilize every resource possible to convey their clients’ message across a broad range of channels to fit the various targeted recipients. Social media is part of that process, but in no way can ever undermine the ever important relationship building between media and PR professionals. Our audience is ultimately the same, so no matter how you look at it, we are in this together.

Laura Burgess Marketing provides our clients with traditional and emerging media services. How do you, as a journalist, utilize social media and have you ever relied on a Facebook post or Tweet as a tip for a story? Email us to let us know