Public Relations

A public relations job is slightly different from a marketing job, but with much overlap in terms of skill sets and strategizing. Most public relations firms are retained to implement a new company launch, a new product launch, the press release(s) to go with those activities, and the accompanying media kits and media relations campaigns. Public relations firms also handle crisis management, special event planning, message development, and media plan development.

A press release is an inexpensive way to get the word out about a new product or service, and if it has a news hook and is targeted to the appropriate members of the media, it can have a greater presence on the printed page and in the broadcasting realm than paid advertising. Some news organizations are willing to run a press release "as is," particularly smaller concerns with limited staff, but most major network news and daily newspapers-if interested in your topic-will treat a press release as a tip sheet and assign your story to a reporter.

The press release is one element included in your media kit that you, in your marketing job, will assemble for distribution not only to the media, but also to prospective customers, suppliers, friends, and supporters. You'll have glossy folders printed up with a photo and a logo on the front and flaps on the inside to insert business cards, fact sheets, and brochures, possibly even a CD or DVD. In the case of a product launch, for example, your collateral materials in this folder will describe your company's history, its other products, profiles of its owners and/or founders, and glowing testimonials from legions of satisfied customers.

Getting these materials into the right hands is a big challenge of a marketing job, and following up to ensure that the media kits are received, read, and considered is even bigger. It's a relatively simple matter to develop a basic mailing list of print publications, radio and television stations, and even websites that are likely to take an interest, but it is even more important to review this list on a case-by-case basis to see what specialized interests may also be included. Trade journals exist in every imaginable sector of the business world and offer national and even international exposure.

Last Updated: 05/21/2014