What constitutes good public relations doesn’t really have to be so complicated.
Sure, our profession does have a somewhat bad reputation. Honestly, our professional reputation sucks. And the whole thing with publics can a tad confusing. But at its core, public relations is quite basic.
Here’s a simple matrix to keep things straight:
Bad organisation + bad communication = bad public relations
Bad organisation + good communication = bad public relations
Good organisation + bad communication = bad public relations
Good organisation + good communication = good public relations
What does this mean?
This means that you can fix public relations problems with public relations, but you can’t fix organisational problems (bad products or services, unethical practices, illegal practices etc.) with public relations. At times, I have to point out to clients that in some cases, they don’t have a public relations problem; they have an organisational problem that must be addressed first.