When I first started learning about public relations all I could think about is marketing… journalism… advertising, and every time I want to explain it I can’t come up with a definition that can describe what public relations really is. But again, learning about something by reading is not the same as going through it and experiencing it and applying it in real-life situations. You would ask why are you saying “again”? I said again because the first time I start learning English I learned the alphabet, memorized it and learned how to sing it, but I could not put them together and speak the language. Then I moved to the States and learned the right combinations of the alphabet in the right order and I started speaking it; so is PR; I can’t say that I know a lot about PR, but at least I can talk about it now without linking it to something else.
Being part of a PR campaign gave me the chance to gain an understanding of different aspects of the PR process. Getting introduced to the issue is what triggers the PR process. Whether it’s coming from a client or coming from an external event, it’s still an issue that needs a solution or an action. In Public relations, this solution is a process that starts with researching and understanding the issue and ends with evaluating and measuring the results.
Between research and evaluation action and communication takes place. The research is so important because we can identify what needs to be done and what have been done in similar situations. In order to execute these actions we need to know what communication methods we need to use. Then the evaluation comes at the end to know if the actions and communication technic we have done are effective or not. Each step in the PR process has its importance and we cannot ignore any of them.
In other words, the research let us come up with strategies. Those strategies have tactics that point us to what we are going to do and how we are doing it. Executing those tactics could involve marketing, advertising, and journalism, but not necessary any of them. It could be one of them or a couple or in some situations all of them. It all depends on what the issue is. It could be getting an organization out of a crisis, or maybe bringing more customers to a company, or even influencing a society to go in favor of an advocacy group or a politician. I believe all the big companies and organizations are not only where they are because of what they provide but also because of how they tell people about it and how they keep people’s attention toward it, and that’s all involve public relations in one way or another.
To sum up, pubic relations is a problem-solving process operates by delivering a message from a source to an audience, in order for this message to be effective the message needs to reach the right publics, with the right contents, at the right time, by the right media.