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Anyone With a Side Gig Should Know This – Why PR Is Important

Due to the pandemic, many of us have gained large amounts of free time. This has contributed towards some of us being interested in doing side gigs to gain extra money. Some people may sell handmade crafts, while others offer tutoring services. However, one thing that stays the same is our need for an audience that wants our services. However, with so many others offering the same services as us, it can be difficult to compete. But, knowledge about public relations can give us an edge in this online field. Public relations can be very beneficial towards keeping a healthy relationship with your clients and how you interact with them. This is why it’s important to learn about public relations and the terms it offers towards identifying key characteristics of your audience.

What Is PR and Why It Isn’t a Dirty Word

Public relations has many different functions and goes by many names. But public relations is generally interested in maintaining positive relations between an organization/individual and their publics. One common misconception is that public relations is the same as marketing. However, PR’s goal isn’t to sell products and is only interested in the relations of an individual/organization. Another thing that makes people wary of PR is its bad reputation. Public relations is often conflated with organizations being deceptive about their true intentions. However, PR shouldn’t be viewed as always being sinister because it’s mainly focused on bettering relations with people and not deceiving them.  

Know Your Publics and Stakeholders

The internet has made it easier than ever to sell products or services online. However, many of your customers are likely strangers so good etiquette is important. These customers are also a part of your publics. In PR, publics are defined as a group that has a shared interest that brings them together. Publics can also be people you’re working with, other businesses and possible customers. Some of these publics are stakeholders. Stakeholders are of utmost importance because they’re needed to keep an organization/business running. So making sure they have no issues with you is a must. Thankfully, since you aren’t a large organization, you have fewer publics and stakeholders to look out for. However, it’s important to know the characteristics of these publics so they aren’t completely unknown to you. One public that should be prioritized is your customers. What services you offer and who usually buys them can help you narrow down the demographic. Knowing what your target audience is can also better help you communicate with them. 

Communicate With Your Publics

The most important part of PR is communicating. Since we lack the reach of an organization, the easiest way to communicate is through social media. Knowing what sites to primarily focus on is important because each social media platform has a widely different demographic. For example, if you only sell products locally to elderly people, try looking at Facebook groups. Since Facebook’s primary demographic is older people and groups for local communities are common, using it makes sense.  Another way to engage with your audience is through researching what they want out of your product. A tool at your disposal to help you accomplish this is polls. Most social media sites let you use polls so this is an easy way to see what they want. Using all of these tools and researching your publics will lead to success.

Jessica Lilly

Montclair '23

Hello, I'm Jessica Lilly and I'm a contributing writer for Montclair Her Campus. I'm a sophomore at Montclair and am majoring in Communications and Media Arts. My minor is also Public and Professional Writing.
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