When you think of PR, what’s the first thing that comes to mind?
To some people, unfortunately, it is one of two things. The Malcom Tucker / Alastair Campbell type AKA ‘Spin Doctor’ or the ‘Ab-Fab’, “Hello Darling…”, long lunching, “PR Girl”.
Both of which are wrong, sorry. Incorrect.
Sure, there are those who fulfil a stereo-type but the function of PR is not to put spin on terrible news or being plastered at midday on a Wednesday after a long lunch.
The function of PR is to build and maintain a great reputation.
Where does reputation come from? It comes from doing a great job and embodying the values and principles you’re projecting, not ‘spinning’ terrible stories into good ones.
Take someone like say, Jonny Wilkinson. Jonny’s reputation is for hard work, clean living and honest, inoffensive behaviour. Someone every mother would like their son to be and their daughter to bring home. And as such, Jonny’s reputation is gold. If a brand has Jonny as their ‘face’ they, by proxy, embody all that is good about Mr Wilkinson. You associate his values with that of the brand. AKA good PR.
Jonny’s PR has come from your mates telling you how great he is and how hard he works etc.
He’s built his reputation through actually living and embodying the values you admire. It’s not merely enough to say you live / work in a certain way, you actually have to live it.
So, what’s the difference between Advertising, Marketing, Promotion and PR. A great way to understand the difference between the four is to think of it in the context of trying to score yourself a date with that special person…
Bear with us…
Advertising would take the view that. “We should put a poster outside their house announcing what a great date you’d be.”
Marketing would say, “Send them a perfumed letter and tell them how great a date you’d both have.”
Promotion would say, “Offer them two dates for the price of one”
And the PR approach would be “They already want to go out on a date with you because they’ve heard what a great date you’d be from their friends.”
(Thanks to our pal Patrick at East Anglian Air Ambulance for the date gag!)