Sometimes there is confusion between what makes the communications field and the public relations field different. While communications is a broad field that covers many various disciplines, public relations is a much more specific area of focus. While you need to have serious communication skills to be able to succeed in public relations, you do not necessarily need public relations skills to succeed in a broader form of communications. Let’s go through what makes these professions unique and the skills you will need to thrive in them.
Public relations is a robust field where your primary goal is to build relationships with the public and create and cultivate a positive image for whatever brand, business or organization that you work for. Public relations provides the springboard that gives a company what they need for their marketing efforts to succeed.
This work is done by researching and developing strategies that will be used to reach the community around you and communicating with media news outlets to gain better exposure for the business or brand. This role is a more narrow route of the overall communications field that focuses on positive image and relationships for the company.
A public relations official would work with all layers of management, from the CEO to regular employees, to help them develop their strategy. Their job function may also include holding and speaking at press conferences and planning other media events.
As a public relations professional it is important to either have an interest in or experience in journalism. They need to understand how the media works and possess excellent verbalization skills and persuasion.
The communications field is one the underlays the public relations one and other marketing and advertising disciplines. Communications relate to everything that is done within a business. The primary function of a communication professional within an organization is to design and deliver relevant information to their intended audience.
A communication officer in a company may design messages that are for internal personnel by circulating a newsletter that goes through any upcoming changes or updates. Another function that they fulfill is generating and disseminating reports and other communications to customers or others outside of the organization.
Communication professionals need to possess wonderful written communication skills.