What is public relations?

Public relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” – Public Relations Society of America*

Creating a public relations plan and spending time developing, distributing and evaluating honest, positive and effective communications messages and programs is a good investment. And responses from the March survey on effective public relations indicate that you think so, too.

When we asked, Do you believe that public relations activities increase the number of clients or customers patronizing your business?100% of survey respondents said YES!

Although you believe that having a public relations program benefits your business, not everyone has one. In response to, “Does your business have a public relations program?” You answered: 79% YES, 21% NO. And even less actually measure the results of PR programs.

Answers to: “Do you measure the results of your public relations efforts?” show that half of those who answered indicated that they do measure their results, and the other half do not.

Who does the work? The majority of survey respondents do it all themselves (64%); while 21% get help on some projects, and 14% outsource this activity.

Next, we asked you to identify the areas where you regularly communicate in a strategic way with your key stakeholders, and which of these activities you find most effective. Your answers are summarized below.

Key notable findings:

  • A substantial majority of respondents have a web site (93.3%), and a surprising 100% participate in social media efforts to promote their businesses.  The percentage of you who assess these efforts as most effective, however, drops to 67% and 60% respectively.
  • No respondents found prewritten copy (MAT releases) for print media to be most effective.
  • Close to half of survey participants utilize both special events and media relations to engage their constituents, and this percentage is then cut by half for those who find the activities most effective.
  • It is interesting to note that while the percentage of respondents who participate in TV (13.3%) and Radio (6.7%) broadcast activities is relatively small, 100% of those respondents find these activities to be most effective.

When we asked about overall attitudes towards the practice of public relations, 71% do it and find it to be a valuable business strategy; 29% felt that if they knew more about it, they might do more of it – and none believe public relations is a waste of time.