PR is "Personal Relations"

By Geo A. Ropert, APR

“So, what is Public Relations? What is it, exactly, that you do?”

They’re the questions we who have chosen this as a profession get asked more than anything else. Depending on my level of engagement with the individual who’s asking, I can give variations of the answers. But the one that seems to easily answer the questions, to both a casual inquisitor and a potential client is, “I help businesses and organizations reach their goals by building and growing relationships with people.” If they want more information, then I’m at the ready with my full two-hour Power Point presentation, “The History and Science of Public Relations.” Few stick around past slide 10.

One thing that I always stress is that public relations is all about personal relations. It’s about reaching out and interacting with people in a way that builds mutually beneficial relationships. It’s about building your brand identity and reputation on a human level, one that is recognized and respected by customers, supporters and even competitors.

Think about this: a person is always at the end of a decision. It is incontrovertible. No matter what technology or machinery exists, when a decision is made to purchase a product or service, support a cause or join a grass-roots movement, a real person is making it.

If you can reach your target audiences, with messaging and actions that are consistent with your mission and vision, you’ll build appreciation for what your organization represents, loyalty to your brand, and growth. When a person feels a connection, feels that they and you share the same values and goals, they’re more likely to become a committed client, supporter or advocate.

When it comes to creating a great brand, “It’s not business, it’s personal.