The CIPR defines PR as about reputation- the result of what you do, what you say and what others say about you. Therefore, PR is the decision which looks after reputation with the aim of earning understanding and support and to influence opinion and behaviour. It is planned and sustained efforts to establish and maintain goodwill between the organization and its public. In addition, PR is about companies making friends and influencing behaviour that facilitates a two way street in order to develop thorough understanding of the perceptions, views and opinion of the target audience. Hence, it is vital to develop an effective communication strategy consisting of PR initiatives. Subsequently, Public relation characteristics can be used to help organization in following ways:
- Help build a positive reputation amongest stakeholders.
- Contribute towards changing attitude and perception and ultimately behavior
- Educate stakeholder about the organization and its products and services
- Gaining information about stakeholder and competitors which will help formulate overall approach to marketing
- Encourage debate and discussing about issues affecting the organization and its sector
Researchers suggest that purpose of public relations is to help organizations build relationship with the public’s in order to facilitate effective communications. Strong PR program and cause related campaign can engage with the consumers positively. According to research 90% of consumers are more likely to purchase from a company associated with a good cause, conversely consumers inclined to stop dealing with the company if they disapprove of their business behavior.
Consumer PR helps to change attitude and behavior of consumer by creating more favorable sales environment for a company and its products and comes helpful to facilitate the path to purchase.
It seems as PR interface with marketing activities such as advertising to stimulate the set of product and services, but role of PR in this is subtle and sophisticated than other direct forms of communication that is why people often mistake PR with advertising. Additionally, it is a diverse practice when successfully applied manage to grab huge attention and move people to action. However, it is not something that change people’s attitude, value and opinion overnight and build positive reputation when the organization does not deserve.