Public relations is about building a strategy to communicate what an organisation or brand wants to convey to its public. Ever since it rose to popularity in the second half of 1900s, PR agencies have become indispensable for business of all sizes. While their core activities remain the same, PR agencies come up with different tactics to ensure their brand’s or organisation’s public image remains positive. Astro strategist Hirav Shah has the knowledge, experience and expertise to help PR agencies or companies stay on top amongst loads of competitors
Public relations as the term suggests is well-planned communication between an organisation and its ‘public’. It is a way of managing communication between an organisation and its publics. Public relations or PR is a very important part of an organisation’s image building and branding activities.
A brand thrives on how it is projected to the public. It is vital for an organisation or brand to ensure that the public has the right image when they think of the product or service they have on offer. PR is indispensable when it comes to ensuring that an organisation or brand is remembered over a period of time and in most cases, over decades.
While it is said that public relations in some form could be traced back to ancient times, the modern-day PR got its prominence in the second half of the 1900s. This was also the time when it gained the status of a profession. Trade associations, PR news magazines, international PR agencies and academic principles for the profession were established.
The Cluetrain Manifesto predicted the effect of social media on the public in 1999. Though it was considered to be controversial at the time, the effect of social media and new internet technologies became widely accepted during the last decade. This was the time when PR agencies took to social media to promote and manage a brand’s image online.
In the words of World Assembly of Public Relations Associations, way back in 1978, PR is “the art and social science of analyzing trends, predicting their consequences, counselling organisational leaders and implementing planned programs of action, which will serve both the organisation and public interest.”
Types of PR
Typical activities of a PR agency include organising public events, speaking opportunities, giving out press releases and newsletters, blogs, social media, press kits and outbound communication to members of media. Audio and video content is also provided so the media platforms can better project an organisation or brand.
While the core principles of PR remain the same, public relations can be categorised into different sub-heads as per Wikipedia.
1) Financial PR: This is all about communicating financial results and business strategy.
2) Consumer/ lifestyle PR: This is directed at gaining publicity for a product or service.
3) Crisis PR: Yes, crisis time PR is particularly important as an organisation or brand wants to cut down on the damage done and make sure that their ‘public’ is with them. So this PR is all about communication during a crisis.
4) Internal PR: This is communicating within the company or organisation.
5) Government PR: This is engaging government departments to influence public policy.
6) Media relations: This as the name suggest is about building and maintaining close relationships with media, so that they can sell and promote a business.
7) Social media/ community marketing: This is about leveraging social media marketing to spread messages about their clients to desired specific target audience or markets.
8) In-house PR: Instead of hiring an external PR agency, some organisations and brands prefer having a PR team or PR personnel, so they can liaison with the public and other stakeholders.
9) Black Hat PR: This involves manipulating public profiles under the guise of neutral commentators or voices, or engaging to actively damage or undermine the reputations of rival or targeted individuals or organisations.
Why PR is crucial for an organisation or brand
■ For starters, it helps increase a brand’s credibility. When an organisation or brand is under the spotlight 24×7, 365 days, then they have much at stake. Publicity through public relations will ensure credibility to the business as the content is informative and also authentic.
■ The primary job of any PR agency, big or small, is to target the key audiences for image building.
■ Good and strategic PR means that it will secure both short and long-term lead generation.
■ A PR agency or PR team or a PR person provides value addition to the organisation they promote by saving time, energy and resources.
■ Finally, PR is all about brand building and creating the right image for the public. No matter, which category of PR that an agency or team does, boosting the brand image is the bottomline.
Need for financial forecasting for PR agencies
1) Over detailing: It is pertinent for a PR agency to plan for say six months, as against the next five years, as one does not know how things would change or evolve over a period of time. Sudden hiccups in the market can lead to a tilt in financial returns.
2) Staying ahead of trends: A good PR agency or team has to always stay ahead of trends. The idea is to second-guess what might work and then plan a strategy around it. This requires time, money and human resources.
3) Staying competitive: A top-line PR agency of any size realises the importance of being on top of the ladder. This means being an ace in the profession and knowing the nitty-gritty of how to stay afloat at all times. With social media in play, the agencies have to work extra hard to keep their clients in circulation and in the right context.
4) Balancing new business along with client servicing: A PR agency or company has to have the right tactics to strike a balance between new clients and their long-term or older clients. This too requires revenues and human resources. At times, the PR agency will have to sell itself cheap to grab a high profile client, which is bound to impact the resources of the organisation.
5) Having the right staff: It goes without saying that a PR agency needs to have the right set of individuals, who are persistent and smooth in their functioning. This again means shelling out a good amount in terms of salaries.
6) Over-dependence on one client: When a PR agency or company gets to work with a top brand or organisation, it often gets entangled with just one client, instead of spreading its resources to cater to multiple clients. Sticking to one client will not pay off in the long run, as top brands or big and small organisations only pay that much to their PR arm.
7) Being systematic: A good PR agency or company has to have hands-on information on various matters. It should be aware of socio-economic and political situations, laws and legal issues, so it can handle clients from various industries and multiple sectors. For this, it requires good, bright and sharp individuals on its team and this means money.
8) Result-oriented: Unless and until a PR agency or company proves itself time and again, does it get more business. This means that every time has to be handled as if it’s their first time. There is no room for errors and commitment levels cannot wane.
How does astro-strategist Hirav Shah come into picture with regards to PR agencies?
To begin with, PR is a business or an industry like any other. The size of the global PR agency industry grew from $15.5 bn in 2019 to $16.5 bn in 2020. So, PR business is no small game.
Agencies, big, medium and small compete to get a share of this revenue pie. Secondly, like elsewhere, quality matters in the PR industry. Since it is all about strategizing to communicate well with the public, a PR company must be good and must be able to deliver the desired results, with the resources provided by the organisation or brand.
Third, like all industries, revenues matter in the PR industry. No company or agency can survive without a clearly chalked out road map. PR agencies have to have their monies in place to quickly up their act.
And it is here that astro-strategist Hirav Shah can bail out a PR agency or company. He is a well-known name in business circles and is a sought-after corporate guru.
To top it all, he has the intuitive powers of an astrologer. Here, it is important to note that he is not your next-door astrologer who will leave you confused.
Astro-strategist Hirav Shah is a brand unto himself. He knows how businesses function and how corporations succeed in building brand-image. Having studied various businesses and having been associated with them for a long period, astro-strategist Hirav Shah knows what works and what does not.
This in-depth knowledge is mixed with his knowledge of astrology to give a clear-cut strategy for your PR business, so you can survive and thrive among hoards of competitors.