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Public Relations is the department within a company which has the responsibility for controlling the brand’s image, coordinating the effort to project a company in positive ways in order to enhance its reputation, as well as damage control if problems arise which can be detrimental for the brand. Those who work in PR at a company have responsibilities that all lead back to the same ultimate goal, selling, promoting and protecting the brand. As a public relations representative, you are responsible for brand image within your industry, in the general public, and among customers and stakeholders.
The PR department does not advertise, as does marketing, but uses broader channels to attain and maintain this image. In order to achieve this you may organize promotional events, or activate employees or management to represent the company at one; schedule interviews for trade magazines; arrange talks, seminars, and conference participation; and give press releases. As a brand representative, you also network within your industry on your company’s behalf, perhaps engaging industry influencers and event organizers.
An important aspect of PR is crisis control. If the business has a faulty product, or if an employee or manager’s behavior is detrimental to the company image, for example, it is the PR department’s responsibility to do the damage control and salvage your company’s reputation.
In today’s marketing world, the lines between public relations and marketing have become somewhat blurred. Marketers now often also seek to promote the brand in order to promote the products, whether in specific campaigns or as a part of an overall strategic plan. Unlike public relations, marketers are specifically oriented towards optimizing and increasing sales of the company products. Promoting the brand name and/or company culture may achieve this goal, and your PR department may co-operate in this endeavor. Public relations also wants a thriving company with robust sales, yet is solely responsible for the company image, and only indirectly for product sales. Where both PR and marketing both promote your brand, the two departments can work in alignment. In smaller companies, they may be one and the same.
Public relations representatives have a distinct role within your company’s organization; marketers complement this role when deciding upon a campaign strategy that includes brand promotion.
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