Every element of public relations involves some type of communication. The very nature of public relations is communicating with the public. In order to effectively communicate with the public, there are several instruments that PR agents can utilize. In this article, we will briefly introduce some of the most popular communication tools that are used for public relations.
According to the Public Relations Society of America, public relations are defined as the strategic process of communication that develops relationships that are mutually beneficial for both organizations and the public. The process of public relations involves establishing goals, objectives and strategies in order for organizations to effectively communicate with the general public. It also involves developing key messages and suggesting strategies that can be used to achieve goals.
These tactics are referred to as instruments or tools of communication. Various techniques are used to develop and manage each instrument or tool.
Instruments of Communication Commonly Used in Public Relations
Though there are a myriad of tools of communication that can be used in public relations, there are certain instruments that are preferred and more widely used, as they tend to offer the best results in terms of meeting the goals that have been set.
- Press Releases. One of the most commonly used instruments of communication in public relations is the press release. They share invaluable information about an organization with the public and help to attract attention to that organization. They answer the “who, what, when, where and why” of an organization and a particular event, allowing the news media to gain all necessary information.
- Press Conferences. These meetings involve personal announcements or interviews with members of the media. A press conference should only be used to communicate highly important information. The information is communicated with the several media outlets so that the announcement can be heard simultaneously.
- Social Media. Social media has become an extremely important instrument of communication in public relations in recent years. It is more informal than other communication tools, yet it still delivers pertinent information. It also connects organizations with the public in a more meaningful way. New products and services, surveys, questionnaires and other types of information can be shared via social media channels and large audiences can easily be reached.
- Speaker’s Bureau. A speaker’s bureau is established by choosing and training a specific group of people that have a certain type of expertise in order to represent an organization on specific issues and topics that are relevant for a targeted audience. For instance, the CEO of a company and individuals that are involved with the development of a product might be internal members of a speaker’s bureau. Customers or other key stakeholders might be external members of this mode of communication.
The tools of communication that are used for public relations are vital for connecting organizations with the public and fulfilling the goals that public relations are intended to achieve. Using multiple tools – and using them effectively – will ensure that communication is effective.