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What is Public Relations and Why Is It Important?

What Is Public Relations?

Defined by the act of brand promotion and awareness, public relations (PR) uses various media outlets as an extension of its marketing efforts to shift the public’s perception of an organization, brand, or business.

What is public relations?

On a more general level, public relations is the branch of an organization responsible for its communications and the management of its reputation.

Similar to brand marketing or branding, public relations (PR) seeks to present information to the public for various purposes. The difference between the two is the mediums with which they employ.

While branding tends to prioritize website content and social media platforms to build brand awareness, public relations tends to prioritize newspapers, press releases, and influential media relations to do the same.

The result of good PR is not limited to greater brand awareness and improved reputation but elevated revenue via higher SEO rankings and increased web traffic.

The Five Elements of PR

Similar to any digital marketing strategy, a PR strategy tends to have an underlying purpose or driving factor behind its published content. As discussed, the overarching purpose of any PR campaign is to build brand awareness and improve or uphold a reputation.

On a campaign-by-campaign basis, however, more specific targets, strategies, or goals are considered when curating the appropriate media release. These are otherwise known as the five (5) elements of public relations:

I. Internal Communications

II. Crisis Management

III. Corporate Responsibility

IV. Event Management

V. Media Relations

Related PR tactics that fall under these five elements include community relations, employee relations, social responsibility, and cyber threat intelligence, among others.

Internal Communications

While public relations is often viewed as “relations with the public,” it’s just as, if not more, important to consider the relations between the people within the organization itself. Without clear communication with internal employees regarding brand direction, how can a successful PR campaign be curated and relied upon? Whether via email, company announcements, or internal meetings, prioritizing internal communications will directly impact the quality of external communications.

Crisis Management

No organization is perfect. As a key function of PR, crisis management aims to acknowledge, manage, and smoothly work through problems or negative perceptions that have arisen as it relates to your business. Through strategic PR solutions, a crisis can be averted and brand reputation can be returned to stability, if not improved altogether.

Corporate Responsibility

It’s not enough to sell a product or service. Instead, it’s important to consider your target audience’s deeper drivers and desires that motivate their consumer behavior. While you may bring a great piece of tech to the market, it’s important to ask what you bring to the table regarding social issues as well for this directly impacts the public’s perception of your organization.

Event Management

Whether during a consumer electronics trade show or tech conference, events are an incredible outlet to garner exposure to relevant and interested audiences. Through effective PR, event management tactics may not only allow for greater exposure and lead generation but immediate sales as well.

Media Relations

Finally, arguably the most important element of PR is the relationships built with media persons such as journalists and press personnel. Because journalists are largely responsible for discussing a product, they’re inevitably responsible for the public’s perception as a byproduct. Building positive relationships with these people will directly translate into how they portray your brand or organization to the public.

The Importance of Public Relations

Whether you’re launching a consumer electronics product, starting an entirely new consumer tech brand, or hosting an in-industry trade show, public relations will prove integral to the success of such endeavors.

Take a product launch, for example… At its most basic, what’s required for a product launch to be successful? You guessed it - publicity and awareness. Similarly, what’s required of a successful trade show? Attendants… However, how does one expect to garner attendants without publicity and event management?

In short, PR is an invaluable tool for today’s modern businesses, especially in the wake of social media marketing and virality. No matter what type of business or brand you are, whether consumer electronics, tech, or otherwise, PR is imperative to the upholding of success.

Here’s why…


As you’ll learn throughout this book, communication is the heart of any successful PR campaign. Whether internal or external communication, public relations tactics seek to control the narrative in a truthful, non-manipulative way, ensuring that the most accurate portrayal of information is being shared.

For those without a PR department or corresponding PR agency, you’ve likely learned the hard way when it comes to the detriments of a lack of communication…


Without branding, today’s modern businesses are all but non-existent, especially in the eyes of those who follow you on social media. Whether it’s sharing news through content or highlighting positive attributes or successes through media releases, branding is what leads to sales and conversions.

Damage Control

As we briefly touched on when discussing the five elements of public relations, damage control, otherwise referred to as crisis management, is imperative to keeping the business intact and resilient. Like most businesses, there’s bound to be a level of unsatisfied customers, poor reviews, or complaints regarding your consumer product or service.

With a reliable and robust PR strategy, however, these crises can be averted and managed to minimize damages to brand reputation.

As you can imagine, lacking a PR backbone as a brand or business no matter the industry can spell disaster for even the most successful of brands or businesses. By proactively preparing for the worst and actively sharing the best of what you have to offer, you place yourself on a trajectory of long-term success and sustainability.

That, in short, is the importance of public relations (PR).

Foster PR is a public relations agency located in Reno, Nevada.

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