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What is Public Relations? The Roles, Work Content, and Differences from Press Release

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Large companies often have specialized departments, but small and medium-sized companies often have a job called " public relations " that has not yet been established . What kind of work is public relations, and what are the benefits of it?

In this article, you will learn what “Public Relations” means? , Types, Roles  and Benefits of Public Relations Work, Seven Specific Jobs of PR and how Press Releases differ from Public Relations.

What is "Public Relations" in the first place?

By definition, Public Relations (commonly referred as “PR”) is the practice of deliberately managing the release and spread of information between an individual or an organization (such as a business, government agency, or a nonprofit organization) in the public in order to affect the public perception.

What are the 4 Roles and the Benefits of Doing Public Relations Activities?

Public relations whose main job is to disseminate information inside and outside the company. What are the benefits that companies can obtain by conducting such public relations activities? And the four roles that public relations plays.

Role 1. Role as a bridge between the company and society

First of all, for public relations’ role as a bridge between the company and society. Management and field employees are professionals who are familiar with their industry, but they are too busy to afford to look outside the industry. At such times, it is important for the spokesperson to have a broad perspective that is not biased toward the company's industry. Be sensitive to trends in the world and try to collect information on a daily basis.

Responding to the press, which you might think of when you hear public relations, is one of the important activities that connect your company to society. It will play a role as a bridge in the sense that it conveys company information to the world through the media.

Role 2. Role as a communication hub

Public relations’ job is to manage communication in general. In addition to one-sided information dissemination through press releases and company blogs, it also serves as a hub for a two-way communication with each stakeholder.

It has a wide range of roles as a communication hub, such as information circulation within the company through the issuance of in-house newsletters and event planning, information dissemination and information collection as a bridge between the company and society, and building relationships between the media and the company as a contact point for news reports. 

Role 3. Role to promote branding

Public relations has the role to promote branding. By promoting branding, we can establish what role our company plays in society and what kind of position it is when considered as a member of society as well as within the industry. Consistent and continuous dissemination of information is essential to strengthening the brand image.

Promotion of branding also plays a role in fostering a corporate culture. Corporate culture is like the personality of a company, and shaping and maintaining it has a positive effect on employees' attachment to the company and recruitment activities.

Role 4. Role of building media relations and expanding awareness of the company

Building media relations and expanding awareness of the company is also one of the important roles. It may be the role that is most easily imagined when you hear it as public relations.

Beginning with media research to find the medium that your company should approach, telephone, email, face-to-face media approach, sending of written press releases, daily information exchange with media personnel, coverage correspondence, etc. All the relationships with the media are collectively called Media Relations.

It is also the role of the spokesperson to disseminate the company's news to the public and increase awareness through the media, which has the role of disseminating information to the general public.

What are the Two Main Types of “Public Relations” work?

Public relations work can be broadly divided into two categories: "External Public Relations" and "Internal Public Relations."

Although the business content and the main partner are different, both external public relations and internal public relations are still "building relationships through communication." The important task of public relations is to disseminate information and take actions to build a good relationship with the other party.

External Public Relations

External Public Relations - The role of raising awareness of the company and brand to the outside and spreading the company's products and services. In particular, the main job is to disseminate information to customers, business partners, and media personnel. In addition to creating and distributing typical press releases, there is no prescribed framework for external public relations work such as updating the company's blog and SNS, responding to interviews, checking manuscripts, distributing email newsletters, planning events, etc. 

Internal Public Relations

Internal Public Relations - The role of disseminating to all members working in the company and the family members of employees. The purpose is to foster an in-house culture and improve the level of fulfillment through the work of employees by informing them of the company's news and activities. Similar to external public relations, there are various tasks such as planning and managing internal events, distributing internal newsletters, and formulating and operating new systems.

What is the Difference between “Public Relations” and “Press Release”?

Public Relations (PR) are really the strategies surrounding your overall business presence and message. It is the foundation that allows you to be ready for publicity when it comes your way; it's your core message, business values and image. While any form of communication can be considered public relations including newsletters, blog posts and YES, Press Releases are a part of public relations and they generate publicity but they are not PR (They are a part of PR strategy). 

What are the Seven Main Tasks of Public Relations?

Public relations work is diverse and varies greatly depending on the company and public relations policy. This time, this article will introduce seven main tasks of public relations.

Task 1. Catch up on social and industry trends

The first is to know the trends of society and industry. Research is one of the important tasks to increase the withdrawal of public relations staff.

Public relations is always close to management, and it is necessary to shape the company's message in line with social movements and update the public relations strategy and policies to convey it. Therefore, it is very important to know "what kind of situation your company is in" and "how it should move in the future" from the trends of society and industry.

In addition to checking news, always keep an antenna on outside information by collecting appropriate information by utilizing the horizontal connections of media people and the industry.

Task 2. Creating a press release as an official document

Public relations staff create and distribute press releases as a basic tool for disseminating information. Public relations is a typical job that comes to mind first.

In the first place, a press release is an official announcement about management, new services, and new products that companies send to the media. By taking up information in the media, we will contribute to raising awareness and branding of companies and services. Since press releases would be published in the media. It is essential to build media relations on a daily basis and provide timely and appropriate information.

Task 3. Flexible news response

Media Relations is also an important part of public relations, building good relationships with the media. Public relations officers are required to respond flexibly to interviews with managers who may suddenly receive requests and interviews regarding services and products.

In many cases, interview requests will be made by looking at the information published in the press releases and media that have been distributed. Especially for start-ups and big companies that everyone knows, the media may bring in plans and inquire about how they start.

From the viewpoint of information, speed is the most important factor in responding to interviews. Respond politely and promptly to build relationships with the media.

Task 4. Public relations check of service site and job vacancies

In order not to destroy the brand image inside and outside the company, the public relations officer also checks various contents such as the company's service site and job information. Check whether it contains information that should not be disclosed, and whether it touches the law or morals. Of course, each employee in charge should give due consideration. Public relations will play an active role as an inspection because the information published under the name of the company may have an impact on management, services, and products.

Public relations officers need to keep an eye on internal trends and keep an eye on the information that each department is trying to disseminate outside the company.

Task 5. In-house material excavation

Public relations needs to collect information dissemination material. Therefore, it is necessary to pay more attention to internal trends and the activities of each and every employee than anyone else.

If the only information you send out is management reports, new services, and new products, the public relations material will soon run out. As the relationship deepens, media professionals will seek not only information that will be released in press releases, but also seeds for topics that are not yet mature. This kind of information is important to have an attitude of searching for information by yourself, as it is not something that is waiting and delivered naturally.

If you look for it, there is an interesting story in the company. That is often the case. Public relations staff should actively communicate with employees on a daily basis, such as going out for lunch and using employee daily reports and chat tools.

Task 6. Understanding the business situation

Public relations often disseminate information about management, and it is necessary to know the situation at a close distance from the management team.

Also, Public relations often become the "face of the company" in Media Relations. The lack of management knowledge of the spokesperson can affect the credibility of the company, as it is also necessary to explain and sometimes appeal to the company's business and market trends.

It is also effective to attend management meetings and business meetings, and to set up a place to talk regularly with people in higher positions such as the president and business managers in order to grasp the management information of the company.

Task 7. Information dissemination using in-house media and SNS

The Internet has become an infrastructure for people's lives , and companies are required to disseminate information using their own media and SNS. In addition, to posting on external media through Media Relations. 

In particular, SNS such as Twitter and Instagram can be easily started, and the hurdles for opening an account are low. It is necessary to be careful not to burn it, but it has the great advantage of being easy to communicate with users. There is a possibility that the market share will expand unexpectedly and it will lead to the expansion of the company's recognition at once. However, it is not possible to get many followers immediately, and steady transmission is required. 

When you hear about public relations, you may have a strong image of working with the media as the face of a company, but in reality, it's a job to communicate with each stakeholder in an appropriate way. “Public relations is a communication professional who maintains good relationships with each stakeholder.”


There are many means of public relations to spread “about” the company, but the purpose of public relations activities differs depending on the company, and the required communication method also changes. As a public relations officer, it is important to understand the issues of the company and the vision of the management more than anyone else, and to carry out public relations activities that are close to the company. 

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