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#PR: PR's 'Surprising' Third Function
By: Gerard E. Mayers
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In my blog last week I commented on a colleague's posting about how great customer service can help boost PR and why companies who do not seem to understand that, not surprisingly, have lousy PR images.

PR, as we all know, can help any organization pitch its services or its products to the desired target audiences. In this digital age, successful pitching is as much a science as it is an art. My posting the other week on “The Zen of A Successful Pitch” noted how us flacks should best approach journalists and editors today and how doing that will help improve our pitch rates.

This time I would like to briefly touch on a third function PR can do, and perhaps one that is often overlooked. Sure, we all know how PR spreads by word of mouth, through coordinated media campaigns, how customers can become the “bread and butter” of any organization's marketing strategies. But, has anyone seriously considered that PR can be a force for education?

Wait, you say. Did I just hear your right? PR as a force for education?

Yup. You did hear me right. PR can be a force for education. Think back on all the really good ads you have seen in the media (traditional or online) where you actually learned something about what an organization is trying to do. Okay. You noticed no specific product or service was being sold, pitched, or promoted. Well, that was education.

The best form of PR — or branding, for that matter — is one that educates at the same time it seeks to boost a brand or service. At least that is what I think. PR done in that manner — to me — becomes more of a two-way conversation. What do you think? Let me know, because I am really curious about what my colleagues have to say on this.

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About the Author
Gerard E. "Gerry" Mayers writes about PR and other relevant topics for PR professionals. A former PR manager for Sensor Products, Inc. (currently based in Madison, NJ), he lives in Milford, NJ.
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