What is the value of public relations?

The answer lies in the value of information.

Everyone recognizes that information — especially ordered information between an organization and its publics — has value. Whether you’re the sender or receiver of information, you evaluate its value based on its relative utility, its relative worth and its relative importance. Public relations has become valuable for organizations because it can provide value in all three of these dimensions some of the time, and in at least one all of the time.

Every day, people are using information to form opinions, make decisions, support or oppose organizations and buy products and services. In short, information shapes behavior. The value of public relations is in its ability to create behavior which is supportive to your organization.

How will you know if an investment in public relations has paid off? Measure it! Anything that can be identified can be measured. Be specific about the behaviors you want, and drive your public relations toward those ends. Begin with the end in mind, measure progress and evaluate along the way.