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    10 Ways to Explain Public Relations

    When it comes to public relations a lot of people assume it’s strictly a relationship with the media. After all, Elon Musk thinks that what it is so it must be true, right? If you’re curious what he really said, read this article by Fred Lambert from electrek.

    Maybe some of the explanations below will help Elon understand what PR actually means and what value professionals bring to the table for their clients and brands. Read onward for _ ways to explain public relations and feel free to use these answers when you’re parents or friends ask, “What actually is public relations?”


    Let’s start with some serious answers. Sarolta Acs shares a great answer we can all reflect on:

    Building trust, communicating clearly, and selecting the right channels will help you reach the public in a genuine way. After all, we know how little consumers trust ads nowadays, however, positioning PR with ads can have a much greater impact. Here’s an article from Daniel Carnahan who shares more about this topic.


    Mindy Hamlin chimes in with her honest and unique take:

    PR goes well beyond a story in a publication. It’s the relationship between a company and its public and now more than ever social media is a channel where nearly EVERYONE is active.


    Carol Lin Viera has a great (hidden) comparison between marketing and PR:

    I hear this answer quite often: PR is earned whereas marketing is paid. Although the example above about tying ads with PR can work wonders, it’s important to note PR is not paid advertising.


    Robert Cubitt reflects the same sentiment:


    Tonya McKenzie has an insightful explanation that resonates with me and hopefully you too:

    PR is all about storytelling and being a strong writer is so important in this profession. If you read this far hopefully you aren’t turned off by mine :)


    Tom Sommers also provides an interesting take:

    What I love most about this is that Tom is a columnist and editor so he’s speaking from “the other side of the fence” about the meaning of PR. Having a journalist’s input on this is a great way to see from their side of things.


    Now, let's take a look at some less serious and more playful responses. The first is from Tricia Richards-Service:

    Well said, Tricia!


    Marie Cook shares a PR analogy she overheard on The PR Podcast:

    This is a party trick I plan on releasing this summer. Stay tuned!


    Paul Wilkie chimes in courtesy of his son’s interpretation:

    I think a lot of us could agree even those who are not PR pros.


    One of the most genuine and honest sweet explanations comes courtesy of Lou Hoffman’s mom:



    PR is all about relationships, trust, and public perception. That is certainly my opinion but I’d say based on the above most of the respondents would agree to some degree. Speaking of degrees, check out another Twitter question thread we wrote up last week about the pros and cons of a degree in PR.

    Don’t forget, you can follow our Twitter page for daily updates and news surrounding PR, media relations, journalists, and more!

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