why should public relations understand the law?

If the industry plays its cards right, the public relations department could command as much respect and budget as the advertising department. Public Relations is one of the most effective ways to build on marketing strategies and create a solid online reputation. Before answering your client or boss who orders you to “Get me on the front page of the New York Times!”  Getting a story in a publication because you want it there, or your boss demands it, doesn’t matter. It’s unclear how to leverage a PR success. This is important for you – especially as PR counsel. PR agencies provide businesses with support and guidance to help them market themselves online while being constantly ready to step in when a disaster occurs or something threatens to damage the image the company has been building. Though there are many facets to this Act – all aimed to keep the Enron crashes from happening again – a PR team should simply understand that full disclosure of results and material changes to finances or operations are a must, – Each agency, corporation or business has an enormous amount of metadata (data about data) stored on computers and servers. Reporting on the effectiveness of a press mention used to be limited to clipping it from a newspaper and showing the clip to the boss. Additionally, this knowledge enables us to better work with our legal counterparts – creating a smoother, faster and more manageable plan of action for our mutual clients. Create A Story. It is also vital to keep informed regarding potential amendments that may change what is and is not allowed. Can social media replace traditional media? It also pursues media coverage of organizational activities of interest to the public and responds to media queries. 2. If your establishment has a poor relationship with your clientele, it will also affect your sales. understand any relationship, therefore, one must understand the wants of those involved. The social media part is the content and conversations on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, LinkedIn and YouTube. Follow a Story. The alternative could cost you. They do not have time to spend on incomplete ideas. Who knows? One results in the retainer threshold remaining low, the other affects the bottom line. This is the most common form of public relations. PR is the Persuasion Business. Earned vs. Answer this: What’s the story? For breaking news, journalists often need an expert to comment in real time via a phone interview, video-conference, live video interview, Tweet, email or IM. Their job is to generate positive publicity for their client and enhance their reputation … They keep the public informed about the activity of government agencies, explain policy, and manage political campaigns. However, hiring people to handle public relations means you have to spend money. Do Companies Report Failed Drug Tests to the Police? As handlers and generators of news and information, public relations experts must understand how copyright law works. It involves storytelling and. You are trying to convince an audience, inside your building or town, and outside your usual sphere of influence, to promote your idea, purchase your product, support your position, or recognize your accomplishments. Hard to believe, but even a seasoned marketing professional doesn't understand the basics of public relations. Still while it almost is cliche; today, PR may make the claim that it'll give your business the best return for its marketing budget. are available to the public. PR firms charge monthly retainers or can be hired for specific projects. I write about public relations and marketing with targeted…. http://academic.mu.edu/adpr/ekachai/chapters/ch12.htm, http://www.ehow.com/list_6706417_public-relation-laws.html, http://www.investopedia.com/terms/s/sunshinelaws.asp, http://www.inc.com/encyclopedia/sarbanes-oxley.html, http://news.cnet.com/8301-13578_3-57575160-38/congressman-endorses-data-retention-law-then-backs-away/, https://www.eff.org/issues/mandatory-data-retention/us, Happy Halloween! It now floods in through social media, which is tracked primarily by PR departments. Public relations people working for a company may handle consumer relations, or the relationship between parts of the company such as the managers and employees, or different branch offices.”. It'll mean opportunistically thinking and evaluating 'what is news worthy' concerning your business with a keen eye. Companies that have caught onto that are investing a tremendous amount of time and effort into staying on top of their PR strategies, and they’re seeing even larger returns with better ROI. You have to remember that virtually all businesses are dependent on repeat customers. In turn sales can be affected positively of negatively based on a number of factors. A large number of businesses get a bad reputation without doing anything to deserve it, while other businesses are not within easy online reach of their intended markets. Public relations is less predictable due to you having to get the intermediary to comprehend your important message points and reiterate them in his/her messages. With the right PR company assisting them, the brands of today have a much higher chance of reaching the right audience effectively. Their job is to take care of public relations; that's it and nothing more. This is often done through thought leadership pieces, influencer connections and networking strategies. Very few, however, understand the true impact it has. Other methods of making news include bylined articles written for an independent publication, Opinion-Editorials (not about you, about a controversial topic), social media (blog posts, tweets, photos, videos, etc. The public relations office publishes newsletter articles on employee activities and uses staff photographs in brochures and promotional materials. And let’s be clear. Because it’s in their best interest to sell you more ads, advertising folks tell clients what you WANT to hear. Misusing the word “free,” bait-and-switch tactics and deceptive pricing also are illegal under federal law. This is easily the most emotionally charged subject in the PR industry. If you have a poor relationship with your customers it could potentially have a negative effect on their decision regarding doing business with you again. More importantly, due to the public nature of social profiles, you can track who is sharing press you’ve received and if they’re taking action because of it. This kind of interaction is only recently possible due to the very high percentage of journalists on social media, which the company I founded, Evolution Communications Group has pegged at well over 10,000 journalists. And although there is no mandatory U.S. law governing the retention of these materials, it is vital to understand what conditions are currently in place as outlined in the 1986  Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA) and the Protect Our Children Act of 2008. Used properly, PR can give a company the ability to overcome almost any obstacle it may face. Bonus advice:  punch up your prose, such as imagining your headline as a tweet. Trade Associations and Professional Organizations. Measuring and judging and calculating the seven principles can be complicated, time consuming and costly, and this may involve hiring an outside firm, but it’s a noble effort and it’s worth further study. So your story has more credibility because it was independently verified by a trusted third party, rather than purchased. These are usually feature stories, in contrast to news happening today. PR is an area that can transform the future and profitability of a business. With a little luck, maybe there will even be a hit TV show about a PR pro. It appears in the editorial section of the magazine, newspaper, TV station or website, rather than the “paid media” section where advertising messages appear. (, – If you’re working for a government agency, know and understand Sunshine Laws, which are essentially regulations requiring openness in government. Audiences are also more likely to listen to a message coming from an objective source, as opposed to paid-for advertising. See our, Explaining What Motivation is and Why You…, Want To Make Crisis Communications Work? As a public relations director, I too have had to learn certain nuances of our legal system when working on sensitive client issues. When the news is bad, they can formulate the best response and mitigate the damage. Even in the first era of the web a publisher would never share how many page views an article received. All material has copyright status the second it is created. PR practitioners need to understand how the law protects private individuals in order to avoid the potential for legal mishaps. This was enabled by software designed to make it easy to mass email journalists and lazy PRs who took advantage of it, which deeply hurt the profession’s reputation. Social media can drive more human communications. Public relations or PR can become an important issue once you put yourself in a position of public visibility. This could not be farther from the truth. In order to get individuals to hear you, you must persuade many important influencers that your business, its services or products are worth their time to consider. Visit his website at www.evolutioncomm.com or www.Coachjohnparker.com, This website uses cookies to improve service and provide tailored ads. 4. Earned Media, Shared Media, and Owned Media: What’s the Difference. This is especially true as your business gets bigger. The most effective way to fix that is through PR campaigns. In a way Steve Jobs had it easy when he returned to Apple in 1997. A written or verbal statement that a person believes harms her reputation is considered “defamation.” This general term applies to any harmful communication; written defamation is called “libel,” and verbal defamation is “slander.” Defamation is a civil wrong, or “tort,” rather than a crime. Don’t be fooled by the hype. While virtually all MBA programs offer courses in advertising, the Associated Press reported only 20% offer a course in public relations. If you products and services are of poor quality, it will affect your sales. By leveraging their connections with influencers, PR agencies can gain trust for a company. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Most have a vague understanding of what public relations mean, and many even have a slight idea of what goes into it and the benefits it offers businesses. Chapter 12: Public Relations and the Law PR persons can be held legally liable if they provide advice or support an illegal activity of a client or employer. Sports superstars need the support of their fan as well. It may be easier to conduct simple phone and email surveys of peers, clients and suppliers. PR agencies make that possible by helping organizations to craft the right messages to resonate with their target customers in impactful ways. There are only two ways to make news:  1) Create a story or 2) Follow a story. Politicians need to look good in the public eye because a bad reputation can cause them to lose in the next election. This could not be farther from the truth. How to Write Press Releases that won’t Frighten Reporters, Shrinking Attention Spans Call for Creative Content Marketing, You Know You Work in Public Relations When…, 3 Reasons Why You Should Use Infographics, Duffey Communications Recognized as a Top Governmental Affairs Firm by James Magazine. User experience: Ads and editorial are seen at the same time, you cannot divorce one from the other. Legal Eagle v. PR Director: What do we have in common? Theoretically it can be said that public relations are the management function that evaluates public attitudes, identifies the policies and procedures of the organization, and executes a program of action to earn public understanding and recognition. Also, the competitor’s use of the trademark can’t confuse consumers.

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