Corporations and small businesses alike use public relations to grow their businesses. Major corporations either have a department of in-house public relations experts or hire outside consultants to deal with the media and act as the company’s mouthpiece. The small business owner usually tries tackling it alone or hires a small agency. The object is to generate as much positive press for the company or organization as possible. Many companies do things like making contributions to charities, scholarship funds and other non-profit organizations to win positive feelings from the public at large.
Many not-for-profit organizations use the media to raise monies for their efforts. Newsworthy developments – such as signing glamorous celebrity spokespersons or receiving major corporate sponsorship – generates attention in the media. In events like these, everyone benefits … the companies or celebrities gain the respect of the public, their participation helps to raise more money or give the cause a higher profile, and the charity itself has raised the funds necessary to operate.
Politicians, corporate heads, and celebrities are just a few of the people that use public relations to earn the respect of the masses. Such individuals become involved in philanthropic and other endeavors in an effort to enrich the community. One classic example was the makeover of Geri Halliwell (a.k.a. Ginger Spice), orchestrated by PR guru Matthew Freud. The former Spice Girl transformed herself from a questionable talent and one-time topless dancer into a UN goodwill ambassador and advocate in the fight against breast cancer. Corporations also use this tactic to promote themselves in the public eye, often donating money to such community-enhancing efforts as building a library or improving a public park.
Public awareness is essential in any public relations campaign. It is important to keep the public informed about services you are offering the community. Even though you are in business to make money, you are supplying a demand or you wouldn’t still be in business. You may be offering clean, affordable used cars to the public, or possibly clothing for the discriminating man. Whatever it may be, you need to communicate one factor about your business: what you are contributing to the community. This will be the undertone to all your public relations and advertising efforts.