Creation and maintenance of a good public reputation is a complex and ongoing process. Without an effective PR, it is very difficult to reach the attention of the target audience and much less to influence their opinion and decisions. But when the relationship with the target group is finally established, it needs to be maintained in order to keep it on a high level. The process works similar to the interpersonal relationships. When two people lose contact, they pretty much disappear from each other lives no matter how close they used to be. And the same happens with the target audience if the established relationship is not maintained.
In order to build a relationship with the target audience and maintain it on a high level, PR specialists use a variety of tools and techniques. Some of the most common ones include:
- Attendance at public events. In order to attract public attention and keep it engaged with a particular organisation or an individual, PR specialists take an advantage of every public event and the opportunity to speak publicly. This enables them to directly reach the public attending the event and indirectly, a much larger audience.
- Press releases. Information that is communicated as a part of the regular TV or/and radio programme, newspapers, magazines and other types of mainstream media achieves a much bigger impact than advertisements. This is due to the fact that most people consider such information more trustworthy and meaningful than paid adds. Press release is therefore one of the oldest and most effective PR tools.
- Newsletters. Sending newsletters – relevant information about the organisation or/and its products/services - directly to the target audience is also a common method to create and maintain a strong relationship with the public. Newsletters are also a common marketing strategy but PR specialists use it to share news and general information that may be of interest to the target audience rather than merely promoting products/services.
- Blogging. To reach the online audience, PR specialists use the digital forms of press releases and newsletters but they also use a variety of other tools such as blogging and recently, microblogging. It allows them to create and maintain a relationship with the target audience as well as establish a two-way communication.
- Social media marketing. Like its name suggests, it is used primarily by the marketing industry. Social media networks, however, are also utilised by a growing number of PR specialists to establish a direct communication with the public, consumers, investors and other target groups.