Communication and advocacy are crucial and interrelated functions of the public relations specialist. He or she must not only communicate a message to the potential consumer in a clear, concise, and gripping fashion but also convince the consumer to purchase or use the product or service that the client is selling. The message is not intended to be neutral. It is advocating a specific point of view. What the client is trying to sell is better or preferable to those of competing companies that are also trying to sell their products or services to the same publics.
Being successful is not easy. There is a great deal of competition. Makers and sellers of competing products, too, utilize the skills of public relations practitioners.
Prior to putting out a marketing campaign for a particular product, a public relations person must do a great deal of study, research, and hard thinking. As you might have read at several places, today's world is very, very complicated, and it gets more complex daily.
One must know the demographics now and have an accurate idea of what they will be in the future. Today, the United States is becoming a nation of the young and the old. Much of what is being marketed is directed heavily to these two groups, at opposite ends of the chronological scale. Depending on the product, of course, certain characteristics should and should not be highlighted.
Communicating to the consumer, to create and continue a favorable impression, is crucial for all types of products. Certain products have obvious appeal to some groups and no appeal to others. For example, no public relations expert would direct a motor bike marketing effort to the elderly; on the other hand, it would be a mistake to exclude from the sales campaign and promotion the large segment of middle-aged Americans, because such a bike is not only appealing to the teenager who is out to have fun. Cheap transportation should also be considered strongly. Keep your eyes open in any American city. With the general downturn in the economy coupled with uncertain gasoline prices, well-dressed men and women in increasing numbers are riding to work on their gasoline-propelled two-wheel vehicles.
Consequently, a public relations specialist for a motor bike company would probably choose not to restrict a campaign to rock stars extolling the virtues of riding bikes along the Pacific Coast highway. Utility would also come into play. The campaign must also be directed to influence the young lawyer fighting traffic as he or she rides from an apartment to work in Manhattan or Chicago's Loop.