The importance of reputation management in modern times is impossible to ignore. From big-name athletes to multi-million dollar corporations, it seems as though there’s a daily news report relying on public relations to clarify a claim, explain an action, or differentiate fact from fiction in a story widely populated. Upon examination, it’s easy to see why; the internet has given every human being access to information about any person or event that they search for with the click of a mouse, and moreover, has given all of those people a forum to voice their opinions, share experiences, and call into question virtually anything that they find quickly and easily. It’s fair to say that PR has always been a vital part of professional evolution, but with the accessibility of Google and the computerization of all news resources, it has taken a place of importance that the world has never seen before.
Celebrities frequently use public relations teams to communicate with their fans and the general public by proxy, allowing them the ability to gather their thoughts and trust someone to communicate them clearly and effectively to their audience. Anything from a musician’s upcoming tour dates and record releases to an actor’s proposed role in a Broadway musical can be found in official press releases or news reports spawned by PR professionals, who are responsible for confirming the accuracy of the information with their client prior to conveying it to the world. Beyond that, they are frequently relied upon to break the news of famous couples parting company, release engagement or marriage information at a time that the client deems appropriate, and announce pregnancies or adoptions. In some cases, celebrities use reputation management for just that – repairing and maintaining their reputation which may have been damaged by tabloid gossip regardless of the validity of what was reported.
Similarly, PR firms are frequently utilized in the world of business to positively communicate with their customers, shareholders, and affiliates, and for a lot of the same reasons. When computer giants release a new model or version of software, a news release is drawn up and submitted to every major reporting resource in the world to ensure that every customer – current or potential – has access to that information. Public relations has its place in marketing in that way also, allowing a company to highlight its product benefits, services provided, and any and all main draws to them. This ability opens doors to new markets and allows corporations access to a wider consumer base.