Good public relations is a carefully planned, sustained effort to establish your company identity, maintain credibility and promote communications between your company and its public. It means getting the word about your company to the media so that they, in turn, will keep your name and good deeds in front of their audience—your potential customers.

Many PR professionals don’t like to say that PR is marketing. But, it is one of the most effective ways to successfully market your company’s information.

You can make PR pay off for you if you tailor (market) your messages directly to your customer’s current situations. This will help create trust between your company and its stakeholders.

PR means getting stories written or broadcast about your company in the local press, business media, trade publications, radio, television and other media outlets depending on the audience you want to reach. PR is an information message about your company.

The public can be cynical. They have lots of advertising messages directed to them on a daily basis. But, when people read media articles, hear or see something about your company in the press, they’re going to take them more seriously than they do ads, especially, if you get a third party – a customer or expert of some kind – to comment positively in an article about your company. That lends you enormous credibility, it’s good content that’s not coming from you.

Editorial contributions have a much longer shelf life and greater pass-through value than ads. This becomes especially true if you order reprints from a publisher or a DVD of your television or radio appearance and circulate them further to your employees, customers and others, and put them on your Website.

PR placements build relationships between companies and publishers, and editors covering specific markets, thus opening the door for your continued contribution as an information resource when they need an opinion or quote for an article.

A strategic approach to PR will build recognition for your company. A few ways to do this is to: employ different methods and channels of communication to achieve the most effective structuring and delivery of your company message; showcase executives as experts in your industry by using newspapers, magazines, radio, television and the Web as a very visible way to build consistent, broad scale recognition of executives as an authoritative source of information, which would consequently lead to a higher profile and elevate their role within the industry; and position executives as key industry spokespeople for the purpose of increasing visibility, and through that expertise educate the public about the vital role of your company within its industry.

PR is much more than just press releases. It’s about branding, internal and external communications, media relations, story development, writing and much more.

And, don’t forget to spread your news much further using social media venues such as Facebook, Twitter and your Blog.