Before you jump to emailing to say that I’ve spelled “Public Relations” incorrectly, let me say I’ve accomplished two goals. The first is to catch your attention, which MUST be done in order to deliver any type of message.
The second is to urge you to rethink your “Public Relations” strategies. While publication after publication has been written on the vital need for Public Relations, an awareness of “Publics” Relations is necessary.
This may sound a bit strange at first, but consider that the meaning of the word is very important. It’s even more important when you consider that Scripture states, “the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us.” Words define what something IS. The phrase, “I am who am,” can be considered to be synonymous with “the present;” therefore, God “is.”
If you have the opportunity to “name” something, it is a task that is not taken lightly. Parents-to-be know the anguish all too well, and, when the child is born and baptized, the question is asked, “What name has been given to this child?” or, “What shall the child be called?”
Similarly, new businesses (another type of birth) and businesses that reinvent themselves hire professional companies to come up with the right name for company. Inventors patent the name of their creation because it directly relates to its function.
But think of what the current Public Relations person does. Most of the time, in order to publicize an event, a press release is created for the media with the hope that representatives from newspapers, television and radio come to cover it. The most important word in that sentence is “a” press release – singular; the second most important word is “media.” That’s not public relations…that’s MEDIA Relations. And while media is important, they respond differently than will parents, than will pastors, than will members of the business community. Therefore, more than one “release” of information must be prepared; further, the publics relations person must ensure ALL of them capture the attention of their intended audiences.
Calling it Publics Relations is not foreign to our language either. We have Attorneys General, as well as Mothers-in-law. It will also help supervisors to realize that effective publics relations (!) isn’t as simple as one might think. Preparing an excellent press release is good journalism; making sure the message is communicated (read or heard) AND understood in its proper context (with all the follow-up that BOTH of those actions require) is marketing.
© Michael V. Ziemski, SchoolAdvancement, 2007-2022 (Original Publication Date: 20071105)