What is PR and different types of PR
Public relations is defined as "the practice of creating, promoting or maintaining goodwill and a favourable image among the public towards an institution, public body etc." (Collins English Dictionary).
The main type of public relations activity is media relations i.e. publicising your charity in media outlets to reach key target groups, such as donors. There are various specialist types of media work that a PR consultant may be able to help you with, such as celebrity endorsement and crisis management.
There are various other activities that fall under the PR umbrella. These include:
- Direct communication with target groups, through methods such as newsletters, websites, web 2.0 technologies, events and public speaking. A PR consultant may be able to help you with some or all these activities, by assisting with copywriting, speech writing, graphic design and web 2.0 implementation.
- Direct marketing to target groups, through methods such as advertising, direct mail, and sponsorship. A PR consultant may be able to help you with these activities, although a specialist advertising agency may have more expertise.
- Internal communications - this is important for large charities to ensure staff are kept informed of the charity's news and strategy and that there are mechanisms for staff to pass on feedback to senior management. A PR consultant can help you develop an internal communications strategy, although this will need to be implemented by the charity's staff.
- Government affairs/ political lobbying - the aim of this activity is to inform elected representatives of the needs of your organisation or sector, and influence local or national policies that affect your organisation. Political lobbying requires a specific skill set and experience so you may wish to go to a consultant or agency that specialises in this.