We are Christina and Peter Pilarski, founders and leaders of CIPR Communications. Two Babies and Business, our podcast about all things related to digital marketing, public relations, business and family, is now beginning its fifth series.
We spent our first four series’ discussing digital marketing from a variety of angles. Now we turn our attention to public relations. PR is a world that has changed drastically over the past few years. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit us, the approaches behind PR were already changing. The pandemic accelerated these changes and took the field in some exciting, unexpected directions.
PR has been a part of both of our lives for many years. Christina has spent most of her career working in this area; in fact, her history with PR goes back to an interview she did with CBC when she was eight years old! In the passing years, we have seen the focus and methodologies of the mass media shift constantly. The rise of digital media was instrumental in pushing these changes. As the media has changed, the way of working with it has too, meaning that PR professionals have had to adjust our strategies rapidly.
What is PR?
Before we go any further, let’s establish what we’re talking about when we turn to the topic of PR. At its most simple, PR is the practice or set of practices that an individual, company or other organization uses to communicate with the public. From the point of view of a business, PR includes the strategies and tactics put in place to relate to the public at large or specific parts of the public – customers, potential customers, suppliers, employees and other stakeholders. These communications need to be targeted, strategic and carefully managed to ensure that the right message reaches the right people.
Marketing and PR do work together a lot of the time, but there are important distinctions between them. Marketing involves short-term goals and strategies, usually targeted at specific goals, such as increasing sales over a specific period. PR is more about the long game: long-term goals, establishing yourself as a respected brand and maintaining that status.
Most people look at PR in terms of media relations, which is really only one aspect of PR – probably the one we will spend most of our time addressing in this series. However, the term really applies to any stakeholder communication and the methods you would use to deliver them.