Public affairs and public relations are often confused, and the terms are interchangeable among those outside of the industry. There are many overlapping characteristics of both, but the big difference between the two are the overall goals. On the outside, public affairs and public relations sound the same, so how do you determine which service you need? Let’s take a look.
Both public affairs and public relations involve communicating with and building relationships with the public and implementing strategies and campaigns. When you look at the goals of each, this is where they’re very different.
By definition, public affairs is a term used to describe an organization’s relationship with stakeholders. These stakeholders could be politicians, civil servants, local communities, business groups, unions, etc. Public affairs has to do with matters that affect the public directly and is usually more political in nature than public relations. Public affairs professionals disseminate information to stakeholders to influence public policy and build support for the organization’s agenda.
Services that public affairs covers includes:
When to use a public affairs team?
If your organization has an agenda that could be affected by legislation or public policy or you have ideas for change in policy, a public affairs team would be a smart choice for you!
Public relations focuses on the connection between an organization and the public. It’s more closely related to marketing. However, instead of advertisements, public relations relies on building a positive image for an organization to gain trust, build relationships, and, as a result, reach their client’s goals. Public relations focuses on a specific target audience to execute strategic communications tactics.
Services that public relations covers include:
When to use a public relations team?
From the smallest business to a large corporation, public relations can be very beneficial in the success of an organization. PR has the power to create awareness and change public opinion about an organization. An organization may want a public relations team when they want to build more brand recognition, stay relevant with the changing times and compete with competitors.
Both public affairs and public relations utilize strong relationships to boost organizations forward, whether that’s advocating for certain policy or crafting the reputation of an organization. Public Strategies Impact in Trenton, New Jersey offers a full range of public affairs services that include public and media relations, community relations, crisis management, and more. Learn more about how Public Strategies Impact can help.