It seems like public relations are one of those things that companies often forget to focus on until they find themselves in a situation that demands it. And when it hasn’t been built up or focused on until then, its almost like fighting a losing battle at that point. The most important thing about public relations is that it is started early, continually focused on, and then built up so that a need for it is never mandated by an outside situation. Many companies find that they need to focus on public relations when something goes wrong, maybe they find themselves in the news in a negative light, or their new product is failing on the market. There are many reasons why public relations is necessary, and why it should be started early and continually focused on, so that a need for it is not immediate when the situation is negative.
If a company begins to think about and plan for their public relations strategy early on, then they will not find themselves in a situation where the only news about them out in the media is negative or poorly construed. When there is something negative in the news about a company, it is imperative that there already exists some positive news that has been generated by their public relations department. The only way to counteract the negative news cycle is to have something positive that already exists in the consumer mind about the company, and this can only happen if those stories have already been told. If there is a new brand or a new product that is about to be sent to the market, then it is even more imperative that a positive outlook of the company already exists online and in the news field about that company. Because without that positive spin on them, there is even more of an opportunity for the consumer base or the news industry itself to form a negative opinion, and have that be all that is experienced by the consumers in the marketplace.
Often times, the public relations department or unit is entrusted to fix a situation that has already become negative in the news. In this case, they will go on the defensive to cover the situation and try to ensure that positive articles and opinions are broadcast in an effort to combat the negative that is now out in the media. However, if positive news already exists for the company, this is a much easier task. If the only news to exist is negative, then the public relations department has a much more difficult task ahead of them to change the public opinion that is being spread by the news cycle. This is why it is more and more important that public relations departments are able to be proactive and offensive about these news bits, so that they have a positive base to build from when the negative news pieces hit the industry. Public relations units can help to get companies out of these negative story cycles.