Public Relations, in its essence, is simply understanding how to maintain a good rapport with the community as a whole. It involves understanding people’s behavior, and using this knowledge beneficially, by manipulating reactions and behavior through manipulation of one’s own actions. In terms of an individual perspective, public relations skills refer mainly to how one carries themselves in public, and also brings into consideration their social skills and interactive skills. It gauges one’s ability to build connections and relationships effectively. From a company’s perspective, it describes how a business maintains a relationship with its consumers, the society and the public as a whole. This relationship in turn affects the company’s promotional strategies for its products, and also plays a part in building brand loyalty through a positive brand image.
Public relations are built through involvement in many events that take place, by making the business’s presence known in a positively influential way. This is done in some cases through sponsorships of events, which could involve carnivals or sporting events, where the business takes the opportunity of milking the promotional opportunity with plenty of material such as posters, custom made stickers and stalls which offer products or services that the business is specialized in offering. Public relations are also built through Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. These include projects that the business undertakes which are for the purpose of maximizing social welfare and benefiting society and the community in some way. These earn goodwill for the company as many of these projects are those which help the less fortunate, or help to minimize a prevailing negative issue in the country. This therefore also helps the company to earn a good image in the eyes of the government, which will provide benefits such as easily granted planning permission, tax holidays etc.Since public relations are a huge part of brand image, it is important that all other aspects of enhancing brand image are also taken into consideration and maintained with the same level of importance and priority.
In addition to the many public relations and corporate social responsibility projects, it is also wise to re-enforce the brand in consumers’ eyes whenever possible, and this is where above the line promotion may come into play. Advertisements will have to be placed, and the company should make sure those even simple elements such as perfect car stickers is considered, as this helps to establish the brand image.This being said, there is no need for a company to spend a heavy portion of its budget on activities such as this. It should be done in moderation, especially if there is no urgent need to build goodwill.