It came to us while brainstorming as a team for a firm marketing tagline: PR is everything. We loved it so much we put it on our business cards and immediately claimed it as our hashtag. #PRisEverything encompasses all we believe and know to be true about public relations as a strategic communications discipline. But I wondered - what does this catchphrase mean to our staff personally, as individuals?In early 2016, I queried FH associates to find out just that. Here are our responses:
Bryan Haviland, President and CEO:"I learned the value of PR from none other than a former NYC advertising agency head who decided to retire and give back by becoming a professor at Ohio University. The PR discipline is the only communications science that takes all of an organization's key constituencies into consideration. That's why it makes sense to build marketing, HR and government relations strategies on a disciplined PR foundation. And that's why #PRisEverything to me."
Karlie Frank, Intern:"#PRisEverything because a brand's reputation is everything. You could offer the coolest product in the world with an award winning customer service team behind it, but if people don't know about it, it doesn't mean much. While paid advertisements can create this awareness, public relations fosters consumer trust in companies. My best experiences with brands have been with the ones I trust, and those are the ones that truly understand me. Through research and purposeful message design, PR creates that trust."
Doug Frazier, Chief Strategy Officer:"My personality is wired to observe how others perceive the world. When I studied psychology and visual design in college, I also hung out with some PR-studies folks. They were all about understanding audience perceptions, then using that knowledge to guide influential communications strategies. Voila! I found my place and have been focused ever since on these key questions - the core of PR: What are the thoughts of the people most important you? How do they behave because of that? How can we influence that thinking and behavior?"
Lara Kretler, Vice President:"I was heading PR at a small ad agency in Dayton when I heard a PRSA speaker talk about a major PR-led marketing program in which public relations set the strategy and all other functions - including advertising - were considered supporting tactics. It was like I heard a choir of angels sing. That's how PR had always made sense to me, and that speaker's words really resonated. Ever since, I've considered PR the lead discipline with everything else falling in place within or alongside that - whether social media, direct mail, etc. My entire career has been devoted to it; I really do believe that #PRisEverything."
Wesleigh Mowry, Graphic Designer:"During my years here at FrazierHeiby, I've learned that public relations is the umbrella that covers every aspect of what we do. Whether it's designing websites, writing talking points or getting story placements in major news outlets, it's all about making sure our clients are relating to their audiences in the most accurate and helpful ways possible. Everything a company does is part of their PR - which is why #PRisEverything."
Denise Clark, Vice President:"When I was in college, a wonderful professor, Lyle Barker, taught me that people don't really deal with the truth - they deal with their perceptions of the truth. That fascinated me. Public relations is the only discipline that can truly build that foundation of trust so that the truth can not only be heard but understood and believed. That is why #PRisEverything."
Ann Mulvany, Senior Account Executive:"Public relations is all about relationships. Whether with clients, media, competitors, creative agencies, customers and every other audience segment in between, those relationships are everything. And PR brings it all together. #PRisEverything"
Kathleen Anthony, Vice President:"What #PRisEverything means to me: It means no limits or boundaries for what we can do for a client to promote, grow and protect their brand. Media relations, social media, issues management, marketing, research, branding, internal communications ... if it's about communicating, telling stories and building relationships we can do it and do it well."
Jillian Cameron, Account Executive:"#PRisEverything because it builds a connection between a brand and its audience in a way that nothing else can. It gives organizations and brands a platform to tell a real story and build long-lasting trusted relationships. PR is important to me because ever since I started my own blog in seventh grade, I've wanted to be part of telling powerful stories. I love that I have the opportunity every day to develop strategies and content that help clients reach their audience in a way that is authentic, exciting and memorable."
What are your thoughts on why public relations is such a critical, valuable function for brands, organizations and individuals? We'd love to hear your #PRisEverything definition below.