By: Julie Price

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If you’re in business, you’re in public relations. By definition, anyone engaged in commerce must be relating to the public.

Ideally, though, you have a PR partner like The Goddard Company to help you maintain your public image and do your promotional heavy lifting; that’s because, while PR is a basic and vital function of business growth, it’s not nearly as simple as it might seem.

The nuances of knowing when, where, why and how to promote a person or company are generally beyond even the most masterful brand owners and best left to the PR professionals.

Still, if you’re in business, you should have at least a working understanding of public relations.

Here are a few fast facts and truisms to help you:

◊ Define ‘public relations’: The work may be complicated, but the PR concept is not. It’s pretty much just controlling the public conversation around you and your work. Google defines it as “the professional maintenance of a favorable public image by a company or other organization or a famous person.”

◊ As old as civilization: A clay tablet found in ancient Iraq that promoted more advanced agricultural techniques may be the first known example of public relations – proving that pretty much forever, where there’s been commerce, there’s been PR.

◊ Putting PR to use: In practice, public relations covers a vast spectrum of services, from the distribution of a single press release to the long-term promotion of a major project to the establishment and maintenance of an ongoing multiplatform marketing campaign.

◊ Advertising vs. PR: The differences are distinct: Advertising is when you pay directly for public space; public relations is when a story earns free media attention. Or, as business executive Jean-Louis Gassée put it: “Advertising is saying you’re good. PR is getting someone else to say you’re good.”

◊ Quote unquote: Simple memes like Gassée’s can be the best instructors. Here are some other pithy PR quotes, summing it up in under 20 words:

  • “A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front-page ad.” – Richard Branson

  • “People do not buy goods and services. They buy relations, stories and magic.” – Seth Godin

  • “If your stories are all about your products and services, that’s not storytelling; it’s a brochure.” – Jay Baer

  • “Your brand is a story unfolding across all customer touch points.” – Jonah Sachs

  • “The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker

  • “PR is performance recognition.” – Douglas Smith

  • “It’s all about finding the calm in the chaos.” – Donna Karan

  • “Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers.” – Daniel J. Boorstin

· And our personal favorite: “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations.” – Bill Gates

- Questions? The Goddard Company is as close as a call or an email.