When it comes to launching a successful business, people often struggle with differentiating between the definition of “public relations”, and “public diplomacy.” While both of these things might have overlapping areas, distinguishing between the two can be critical when a leader needs to choose the kind of help they need to support their business.
Both public relations and public diplomacy involve addressing the public in a way that supports an overarching goal or plan to maintain or preserve reputation. While both of these concepts link to building relationships with a target market, there are some complex differences between them that need addressing.
What is Public Diplomacy?
In the sphere of international relations, public diplomacy is the carefully-structured discussions or communication that takes place between the public and an organisation. The organisation involved with public diplomacy can be a business, a non-profit organisation or even a government body. Indeed, politics involves a great deal of public diplomacy.
Importantly, in public diplomacy, the experts involved will attempt to address existing propaganda or information that might be negatively influencing the public. Diplomacy typically addresses matters that concern the public directly, including things like policies, legislation, or public administration regulations.
What is Public Relations?
Alternatively, public relations are something which focuses more heavily on a brand or company’s connection with their public. PR firms work alongside their clients to strengthen a relationship that the brand already has with their followers through marketing and campaigning policies, alongside regular press releases.
Unlike diplomacy – which is all about calming and addressing the public – public relations is an extension of many marketing strategies. However, it’s worth noting that public relations and marketing aren’t necessarily the same thing. Public affairs messages are often less commercial, because the goal is to build community alliances by providing followers with useful information.
In both public relations and diplomacy, the key is to develop stronger and more trusting relationships between the organization involved and their community. Experts build these relationships through campaigns, programs, and careful community events and involvements. Ultimately, the idea is to create a positive feeling among a group of people in response to an event or issue.
The Skills Behind Public Relations:
Public relations agencies earn their clients by homing in on the connections between an organization and their public. The task requires a significant amount of creativity in today’s highly-competitive world, as PR experts must continuously come up with original ideals to capture the attention of the public in a world that’s full of competing messages.
Additionally, public relations experts can be diplomatic in the messages that they share with the public on the behalf of a brand. This is particularly important during campaigns that help to boost a company’s reputation or preserve it after other media or negative reviews might have harmed a business’s reputation.
Before a company makes a choice between public diplomacy or public relations, they’ll need to think carefully about who their target audience is and where they’d like to develop a connection for the future success of their business.