Reflecting on PR
As finals are approaching, now is the perfect time to start reflecting on what public relations truly means as both a college student studying the field, and as an individual experiencing public relations in every day life. In September, my first blog post from this year talked about what PR entails, along with client connection and social media.
Aspects of PR
To start, Client connection is extremely important when it comes to PR. A crucial aspect of working with clients is knowing them better than they know their company. The client will convey that they have a problem and explain what they think the problem is. Although the client assumes they know, they’re stuck in their own bias’ and cannot look at the company in the way consumers do. That’s where the PR team steps in and does what the client cannot. Through deep research on our clients social media presence, reviews, news, etc, we can evaluate what is really going on with the client and can conduct a campaign as to how we can solve it.
We accomplish finding the problem through tons of conductive research. PR focuses predominantly on two types of research: primary and secondary research. Primary focuses on getting information from the customers and prospective customers through qualitative and quantitative research. Qualitative research is gathering your own information through focus groups, interviews, or visiting different competitor’s locations without too many statistics. Quantitative research is gaining information for statistics through surveys or questionnaires. This gives direct information as to how different customers are feeling, or where people stand as a whole with the company and/or competitors. Although it may be more expensive and time consuming to conduct primary research, it is worth it to gain information directly relating to your company or client. Secondary research is already conducted, gathered, and published by others and acts as a secondary source of information for research. It can be something as complex as an academic journal, or as simple as a review written about your client or company. This includes government agency reports and studies, different reviews on your company or their competitors, articles, blogs, and anything in between. Secondary research is a lot easier to obtain and very broad as to what to consider a secondary source as. Secondary research is an easier option for small businesses and/or businesses with smaller budgets.
The Social Aspect of PR
Social Media, more specifically TikTok, has been vital for many different campaigns and PR strategies. TikTok is a social media platform made up of short videos anybody can create. It’s become easier than ever to generate a massive following and become an influencer. People love to listen to famous people they look up to for products, advice, etc. For example, Serena Williams, world’s best tennis player with over 15 million followers on instagram, is a promoter for brands such as Nike, Beats by Dre, and multiple others. Serena has these promotions because the companies know she holds enough power to convince people to shop with those brands. Multiple fitness pages on TikTok have been sponsored by different pre-workout brands, protein brands, clothing companies, and so much more. According to the Morning Consult’s Influencer Report, 50% of Gen-Z are influenced by influencers and trust them when it comes to reviews, and another 50% say they make purchases based off of what influencers say, preferring relatable influencers over celebrities. TikTok has such an influence over what consumers buy, that there’s an actual hashtag for it; #TikTokmademebuyit. Another brand that has been extremely successful with third party endorsements through TikTok is Dunkin’ Donuts with TikTok Influencer Charli D’amelio.
Coming Full Circle
The public relations industry as a collective is continuing to grow in ways that never would’ve been expected twenty years ago. It’s more than just maintaining the client’s image within publics. Helping the clients grow, be successful and help them achieve what kind of company they want to be is truly what it is about. With social media, it’s easier than ever to promote the client and help them be as successful as they can. With different platforms gaining popularity, it’s important to pay attention to what’s growing in the social media world.