Public relations (PR) is often misunderstood. Many people think that PR is all about promoting a positive image for a company or individual. While this is certainly one aspect of PR, there is much more to it than that. With this in mind, we shall discuss the many different aspects of PR and how it can benefit your business. We will also dispel some common myths about PR and show you why it is an essential part of any marketing strategy.
The Many Aspects of PR
Of course, promoting a positive image is important, but there is much more to PR than that. In fact, PR can be divided into three main categories:
Media Relations: This involves managing the relationship between an organization and the media. It also involves pitching stories to female reporters and working with them to ensure that the coverage is positive.
Crisis Management: This is perhaps the most important role of PR. Crisis management is all about handling negative publicity in a way that protects the reputation of an organization. While positive stories and moments are welcome, it is the crisis management team that really earns its keep.
Issues Management: This third category is all about proactive PR. It involves identifying potential issues that could damage an organization’s reputation and then developing strategies to mitigate those risks. While crisis management is about responding to negative PR, issue management is designed to address potential problems before they develop.
How to Respond to Negativity
Too often, businesses focus on generating positive PR while neglecting to have a plan in place for when things go wrong. But the fact is, negative publicity is inevitable. And when it happens, you need to be prepared with a strategic response rather than pretending that it doesn’t exist.
The first step is to take a deep breath and assess the situation. What is the nature of the criticism? Is it valid? Once you have a clear understanding of the problem, you can begin to craft a response.
The key is to be honest and transparent. Don’t try to sweep the problem under the rug or make excuses. Instead, take responsibility and offer a solution. For example, if there was an issue with a product, you might offer a refund or replacement. As you can imagine, this response is much better than ignoring the criticism. Often, you can win the customer over (and potentially others that read the interaction too!).
Wherever possible, try to turn the negative experience into a positive one. This is the best way to show that you’re truly committed to providing excellent customer service. Not only will this improve your image, but it will also help to build customer loyalty.
Of course, you can’t please everyone all the time…and this is okay. As long as you’re constructively handling criticism, you’re doing damage control the right way. Remember, it’s not about getting rid of all negative feedback; it’s about how you react to it that really counts. Sometimes, when reading interactions between customers and brands, people side with the brand when it has done everything possible to accommodate the customer.
If you’re not sure where to start, Pure PR company in Sydney can assist you with all your public relations needs. They specialise in media relations, crisis management, and issues management – giving you the tools you need to protect and build your brand – both taking advantage of positivity and responding well to negativity.