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What we do

What is PR?

and why does your business need it?

“People do not buy goods and services, they buy relations, stories and magic”

These aren’t our words, but those of US entrepreneur and author Seth Godin. If you’ve arrived at this page, it’s likely you’re interested in finding out more about the PR services we offer, or you’re curious to find out more about how public relations can help your business.

If you’ve never hired a PR consultant before, this page is for you.

Pound for pound, public relations is one of the most cost effective investments in your reputation. However, it’s also an area of communications which is greatly misunderstood; so let’s start by dispelling a few myths:

PR isn’t advertising

There are some major differences between advertising and PR. In ad-land, you buy space and have exclusivity over how it is used. In contrast, public relations media coverage is earned: an effective PR campaign gets people talking about your business by creating news. As such, PR must communicate something that’s genuinely newsworthy and likely to interest others.

As PR professionals , it’s our job to maximise those news opportunities, enabling you to share the story of your business and how your brand values, products or services can help or inspire those who you are targeting.

Hand in hand, PR and advertising can be a highly effectively combination (think about the substantial additional publicity generated by the Benetton adverts of the 1980s and 1990s). PR and advertising provide two very different functions in the marketing mix. Invest wisely.

PR isn’t about the dark art of spin

Public relations is built around communicating effectively; this means it’s grounded in acting honestly and ethically at all times. Many public relations professionals follow a strict code of ethical conduct which is laid down the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) and the Public Relations & Communications Association (PRCA). Of course, there are always two sides to every story, but they should never deliberately attempt to deceive others.

PR isn’t guaranteed

It’s certainly true that one of the hallmarks of an effective PR professional is their ability to sniff out a good news story, resulting in the story being published in the media. However, PR professionals do not control the news agenda – nor should they.

It’s the sole discretion of the news editor as to where, or indeed if, a story will be published (whether in print, broadcast or online). No PR professional worth their salt can categorically guarantee media coverage for a story; be very wary of any business making these promises! Most PR professionals will be happy to share the results of previous campaigns they have delivered.

So, if PR doesn’t deliver these things, what is it all about? And why do so many successful entrepreneurs believe its merits?

And why, according to the Public Relations & Communications Association (PRCA) did British businesses invest over £12.9bn in public relations in 2016?

What can PR do for your business?

There are many different ways businesses use public relations – in fact, you are probably undertaking some forms of PR activity without even knowing it!

PR is about managing reputation

Public relations professionals form an important bridge between your business and those who engage with your business (known as audiences, for example: existing customers, new customers, staff, suppliers, etc.). Unlike almost every other form marketing, PR acts both proactively and reactively. In other words, it helps to communicate goods news, but at the same time, manage bad news scenarios. It’s the result of what you do, what you say, and what others say about you.

PR is about communicating effectively

Storytelling forms an important part of public relations; but this must always be firmly grounded in your business strategy. Effective communication means being clear about whom you are hoping to reach. Think beyond simply churning out press release after press release for the sake of it – in many cases this can actually damage your reputation with journalists.

Think strategically and creatively. Every business has a story to tell, and a reason for telling it.

PR is an investment in your reputation

PR enables you to connect, communicate and engage with others by celebrating your success, showcasing your achievements and building awareness of the amazing work you do. Effective PR strategies encompass all areas of the media, from traditional print titles to social media, web and broadcast.

PR is about results

When some agencies talk about results, it’s all about the column inches they generate, with the reasons why getting forgotten. All PR activity should reflect your business strategy, and contribute towards achieving your goals.

Cannon PR provides a comprehensive range of public relations services. To find out more about how we can help your business, contact us today.