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When people ask me what I do and I tell them I’m in public relations, their reaction is all very similar. It goes something like this, “Ohhhh…that sounds exciting.” PR is exciting – I love it.  But, for many folks, that seems to be all they know about it. In addition, somehow PR gets meshed into the job category of marketing and communications. Well, it’s not either of those.

PR is Not…
Public Relations is not advertising. It is not sales.  It is not promotions. And it is not marketing. PR is part of the overall marketing plan, but has it’s own budget, goals and campaign.

Marketing Without PR Fails
The goal of PR is to create an audience and an awareness about the company or product. Public Relations creates perception and builds a reputation.

Marketing can’t exist without PR.  Repeat after me. You need public relations to have a successful marketing campaign. You can have a great marketing campaign, but you need to create a buzz and you need the media’s help.  The goal is to get influential people and the media to talk about you. And, not just when you have an event or hire someone. You want to be known as the expert in your industry. The more a business or person appears in the news for positive stories, the more they are going to gain the trust of the public- their prospects, their stakeholders and their existing customers.

Working Together
As I mentioned before, marketing and and PR do work together. Here’s a great example. Monaco Ford closed their dealership on Memorial Day in line with their tradition of the staff driving veterans in the Memorial Day Parade. The Silent Partner Marketing produced a video with them in which they challenged the public to #RaiseTheFlag.  It received more than 300 shares and thousands of views. But, it doesn’t end there.

Monaco’s story about closing on Memorial Day was also pitched to the media. WFSB did a great story on the dealership. You can see the story here. Once it went live on the station’s site, the positive comments about Monaco Ford began flooding in. The video received thousands of more views and Monaco received high praise, which added to their stellar reputation. And that’s how it works!

That news story didn’t just happen because a press release was sent to the media. That story happened because of the relationships that their PR team has with the press.

Public Relations is all about relationships with the media. PR experts spend years cultivating relationships and building trust with journalists and bloggers. Some of the best publicist’s know what it is like to be a journalist. They know what types of stories they’re looking for, what will work and what they need. They set up the best interviews, make sure the media has good video to shoot and will even provide b-roll if needed.

If you don’t have PR, you’re missing a very important piece of the puzzle.  So, now that you know what PR is, are you questioning why you don’t have it in your business plan? We’d love to hear what you think.