PR encompasses several tools. What are the major PR Tools?
Many public relations tools exist. However, the most important PR tools fall into 7 categories, which are explained in the following. But first of all, what does public relations mean?
Public relations (PR) is the way a company communicates with the public and media. It must not be confused with advertising. PR means communicating with the target audience directly or indirectly through media, as advertising does. However, the aim is the decisive difference: Public relations aim to create and maintain a positive image and create a strong relationship with the target audience.
The major Public Relations tools encompass:
News – Major PR Tools
One of the major PR tools is news. PR professionals find or create favourable news stories about the firm, its products or its people. Sometimes, news stories occur naturally, as a result of business activities; sometimes the PR responsibles may suggest events or activities that would create favourable news about the company.
Speeches – Major PR Tools
Speeches do also belong to the major PR tools because they can create powerful product and company publicity. Increasingly, company executives must field questions from the media or give talks at trade associations or sales meetings, and these events can either build, but also hurt the firm’s image.
Special events – Major PR Tools
Another tool of public relations is special events. Special events can be defined broadly: from news conferences, press tours, grand openings and firework displays to laser light shows, hot air balloon releases, multimedia presentations or educations programmes designed to reach and interest target publics.
Written materials – Major PR Tools
Public relations should also involve written materials. With the help of written materials, PR people can reach and influence their target markets. These materials include annual reports, brochures, articles, company newsletters and magazines.
Audiovisual materials – Major PR Tools
Audiovisual materials, for instance slide-and-soun programmes, DVDs and, increasingly, online videos are being used more and more as PR tools.
Corporate identity materials – Major PR Tools
To create a corporate identity that the public immediately recognises, corporate identity materials can be used. These materials encompass logos, stationary, brochures, signs, business forms, business cards, buildings, uniforms and company cars and trucks. When these are attractive, distinctive and memorable, they become marketing tools in the form of major PR tools.
Public service activities – Major PR Tools
Finally, companies can rely on public service activities to improve public goodwill. Public service activities usually mean contributing money and time to public service.
The most important PR Tool nowadays – The Web
If you were wondering why the web is not among the PR tools listed above, here it is. Indeed, the web is the most important PR tool nowadays, and of course one of the major PR tools. In addition, the web is an increasingly important PR channel. Websites, blogs and social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube provide powerful ways to reach more people than with any other of the major PR tools. In fact, the web and especially social media are the perfect channel for public relations communications: the core strength of public relations is the ability to tell a story and spark conversation. This is exactly what can be achieved with social media. Therefore, the web is not only one of the major PR tools, it is the major PR tool.