As with advertising, marketers may choose to employ a specialist public relations firm to assist them with particular activities of an overall strategy. Public relations activities have several advantages, particularly compared with advertising.
- Information on a product published in a newspaper or magazine may have greater credibility to the public than would an advertisement.
- Lower cost is another advantage since these articles are not paid for, unlike advertising.
- Avoidance of the clutter of advertising and image building opportunities are other benefits.
In addition, another growing area in the field of PR, is crisis management.
You are probably familiar with the problems that have plagued well known companies such as the poisoning threats to Arnott's biscuits, the food poisoning caused by rancid peanuts used in Kraft Peanut Butter and the public opposition to holding the Grand Prix in Albert Park.
Crises can affect all companies, large or small, and very often are completely unexpected and may even occur through no fault of the company. As a result, organisations are now proactively preparing crisis management plans as a way of anticipating potential problems and having a contingency plan, which can be put into place should these difficulties eventuate. These plans can include things such as statements to the press and an action plan for the logistics of removing products from supermarket shelves and disposing of them.