What does PR really stand for?

If you’ve read the headline, you might be thinking this is a “gimmie.” Blue Wagon Group is a public relations firm, so clearly “PR” stands for … public relations.

True.

But, unless you’re a public relations professional, you might not recognize the secondary, and arguably more important, meaning behind “PR.”

Proactive Relationships.

“What kind of buzzword academic shenanigans is this?,” you ask.

I’m here to tell you, it’s not. You and your company need to be constantly proactive in developing valuable relationships.

“Why?,” you wonder.

Think of your business relationships like your credit score. 

You open accounts. Pay your bills. Keep the balances within your limit. The longer you maintain low balances and on-time payments, the higher your score, and the more you can borrow. These are all proactive ways to maintain and raise your overall credit score.

You need a new roof? Your furnace goes out? 

You have a good credit score? You have a way to borrow.

You have a poor credit score? You might be out of luck.

It’s the same in business. You open lines of communication. Invest in people. Assist media members (where appropriate). Engage in your community. You and your company build credibility.

Your CEO is arrested? Your supply chain is disrupted? If you have established positive, credible relationships with your stakeholders, this built-up “line of credit” will help navigate you through a crisis.

What, no credibility with your stakeholders? People don’t know (or care) who or what you are?

You might be more than just out of luck … you might be out of a job.

It’s important to take concrete steps – regularly, religiously – to develop authentic, solid relationships with purpose.

Effective, successful public relations runs on proactive relationships.

Many business leaders make the mistake of thinking about PR only after it’s needed. That’s tantamount to trying to fasten your seatbelt after the car has crashed.

If you aren’t engaged in building your credibility before you need it, you’re going to be more disappointed than a broke college student trying to purchase a Mercedes.

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