PR tips
and advice
for SMEs

PR tips
and advice for SMEs

The difference between Good and Bad Public Relations

Before differentiating between good and bad public relations, it is important to understand what public relation is all about. Public Relations can be defined as a strategic communication process aimed at building trust between an organisation and the general public. Public Relations is all about convincing your target audience to promote, buy or support a certain product, brand or organisation. 

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PRSA defines public relations as, “The formal practice of what is now commonly referred to as “public relations” dates to the early 20th century. Since that time, public relations has been defined in myriad ways, the definition often evolving alongside public relations’ changing roles and advances in technology.The earliest definitions emphasized press agency and publicity, while more modern definitions incorporate the concepts of “engagement” and “relationship building.”

Contrary to popular belief, there is such a thing as bad publicity. But how does one discern the difference between good and bad PR? 

Good PR incorporates the fundamental principles of Public Relations. As mentioned previously public relations is a strategic communication process aimed at building trust between organisations and their target audience. This process needs to be well-planned and have an effective impact on the brands/organisation’s reputation. It goes beyond just sending press releases aimed at raising brand awareness. Good PR can attract national media attention and boost sales. 

Here are few ways in which Good PR can be implemented:

  • PR professionals must recognize that good media strategy must be coupled with good products and services. If not, then it is a waste of a good PR strategy and detrimental to the company’s/organisation’s reputation.
  • Good PR involves open communication between clients, which entails telling clients what they need to hear versus what they want to hear.
  • Being proactive and responsive to any crisis is paramount when implementing a good PR strategy. 
  • Building and sustaining brand support is essential throughout any campaign. Good PR is not all about the launch, it is also about maintaining a steady flow of communication with media outlets and the target audience. 
  • Maintaining an organic relationship between both client and business is key. Being open to client input is important for a good PR strategy.
  • Public relations involves creating and maintaining a good relationship with anyone and everyone. Good PR includes everyone that has shown success in the market.

Neglecting any of the steps mentioned above can result in ‘Bad PR’. The term ‘Bad PR’ is rather self-explanatory. There are a few examples ‘Bad PR’ strategies such as:

  • Bad timing: Timing is very important in the PR industry in terms of generating media attention to promote any business or brand. An example of Bad PR includes being unaware of what’s happening in the market and sending press releases without any consideration of when they will be published. 
  • Poorly written press releases: Press releases are one of the fundamental steps in the PR process. Writing press releases with poor language and misinformation makes you less reputable to news outlets. 
  • No follow-up: Journalists and publications are flooded with press releases on a daily basis. Not following up on your press releases will result in not being featured in the media. 
  • Being out of the loop: Not conducting the proper research on what’s going on with your target audience can result in ‘Bad PR’. This also ties in with timing, as it is important to know what’s happening in the market/target audience in order to decipher when is the perfect time to send out your press releases.
  • Being too conventional: It is important to think outside of the box when it comes to outreach. Sticking to one way of doing things will not always get you the desired results.
  • No Planning: Planning is crucial when coming up with a PR strategy. 

Check out one of our previous articles on how you can use PR to gain leads here.

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