For centuries people have been utilizing the art of rhetoric, using words to persuade others. As we have become more advanced and technologically savvy, how we adapt to the many forms of communications available today is essential for companies of all shapes and sizes who wish to persuade consumers to consider their business over other competitors.
Today, public relations refers to this process, through which an organization maintains a relationship with their consumers by means of communications. Without strong communications, organizations would struggle to develop exposure to the public. It is widely expected accepted that the relationship is one of mutual benefit to both the organization and their public. Public relations brings together people and organizations with common interests or goals and allows them to meld their skills together to achieve more than they could individually.
Since communication is the foundation on which public relations lies, storytelling is at the heart of public relations. Without the ability to effectively communicate the story, organizations will not gain the exposure necessary to build relations with the public. The essence of public relations lies in the storytelling of an organization—a company must disseminate its purpose and actions and aim to shed a positive light on its mission and vision. When the story is compelling and makes a positive impression on the audience, then public relations has successfully set the foundation for the all-important linkage between firm and the consumer. Maintaining this linkage and communication between the two entities is also important for long-term success.
One of the most common misconceptions about public relations is that it is deceiving. While public relations is about showing an organization in a positive manner, it is not about taking negative aspects and spinning them to be better than they are. Public relations is about the truth and focusing on things that are actually positive about an organization. This is the essence of public relations, using communications to be realistic, positive, and honest with the public.
Public relations should generate conversations about an organization and generate newsworthy topics. Relationships between an organization and the media are also developed through public relations, and the media need newsworthy items to engage their own audiences. The media is one of the most important audiences an organization has, so understanding their needs is a crucial part of public relations.