What is Good & Bad Public relations - the basic differences between good and bad PR

Good PR can be observed on a daily basis - for instance Richard Branson, who often takes the lead in promoting his many interests, which keeps his company as well as himself in the public eye. He rarely misses an opportunity and most people admire him for this, and therefore his businesses.

What is Good & Bad PR

The power of PR is also recognised by celebrities who hire people like Max Clifford to advise them on media handling. He and others feed the media with information virtually every day on behalf of their clients.

The interaction between suppliers and buyers in the industrial, trade and business-to-business sphere is really no different and the same successes can be achieved from treating publicity seriously.

Bad PR can ruin a business almost immediately. Remember Gerald Ratner, who gave an after dinner speech, mentioning that the reason his jewellery business could sell products cheaply was that they were rubbish, or words to that effect. The next day, the media reported his 'unfortunate words'. A shareholder exodus wiped many millions off its market value. The company eventually lost all credibility and sales. Politicians can lose their good public image instantly, by saying or doing the wrong thing.

Even public relations people can get it wrong, with disastrous consequences. An example was Sophie Wessex, the wife of Prince Edward, who reportedly used her royal position to gain PR clients. Her big mistake was to discuss 'The Family' with a person posing as a Sheikh and a potential client, but was apparently from a newspaper 'setting her up'.

A better show of PR came from the Royal Family responding quickly in issuing statements about members of the family having to possibly relinquish their business activities or be cut from the public purse.

This article is an abstract from a book by Alan Godfrey called 'How To Handle Your Company Publicity.'