North America

USA - New York

New York
New York
275 Seventh Ave, Suite 706
New York, NY 10001
P: +1.646.722.3041

USA - Detroit/ Ann Arbor

Ann Arbor / Detroit
Ann Arbor/ Detroit
309 Maynard Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
+1 734 913 0348



Frankfurt / Mainz
Kaiserstrasse 22-24
55116 Mainz
+49 6131 2180 0

United Kingdom

58 St. Aldates
Oxford, OX1 1ST
+44 1865 324 911


Badenerstraße 549
8048 Zurich
+41 43 210 97 46

South America


Sao Paulo
Av. Roque Petroni Júnior, 1089
São Paulo, SP Brasil – 04707-900
+55 11 3033 5858

Asia Pacific


Rm.306, Bldg. 2
Lujiazui Software Park No. 100, Lane 91, E'shan Rd. Pudong Shanghai 200127, China
+86 21 6859 2099


Office no. 3, 14th floor German Center
Building No. 9B -DLF Cyber City
Phase-III Gurgaon - INDIA
+91 124 463 6045

Sword and Shield of Public Relations with PRIME Research

Public Relations: The Corporate Sword and Shield

Posted On September 21, 2017

People now have unprecedented levels of access to information that is readily obtainable anytime anywhere. This profusion of information – some of which is true and some not so true — presents an increased need to process, understand and act upon the opinion-shaping material which influences stakeholders, the marketplace and society in general.

With the need for constant vigilance, Public Relations serves most organizations as its sword and shield, monitoring emerging issues to help address threats and to pursue opportunities. This proactive communication process represents PR’s unique ability to quickly frame issues through context, dialogue and action, often supplementing through real-time traditional and social media analysis the intelligence gleaned more slowly through surveys and conventional data streams. The progression of tracking issues, building understanding, creating alignment and executing communication helps organizations achieve positive differentiation and brand loyalty.

Balancing Reputational Risk with Brand Marketing

The abundance of information sources — combined with the polarizing positions which many sources represent — creates incubators for reputational risk, the cost of which can be catastrophic. To protect the organization, communicators must monitor, analyze and execute upon trends while there’s time to act. These days, an organization and its brands are subject to an excess of attention whether the news is generated by the organization or the opposition. Recently, the CEO of one of America’s largest banks spoke to reality when he warned of “negative headlines.” And the “fake news” phenomena is not confined to politics: Just this week, false rumors surfaced about the discontinuation of an iconic candy. Whether the information is true or false, communicators are the first line of defense.

To simultaneously leverage opportunities and defend against risk, evolved communicators make informed decisions through the identification of known and hidden factors by performing high-integrity due diligence of news and social media as well as other third-party relationships. This form of communications research identifies emerging issues and classifies them as either “risk” or “opportunity” for the organization, its employees, its customers and other stakeholders. Communicators seek to discover the driving influences around the globe and within local markets to identify marketing, political and regulatory factors to either mitigate or accelerate momentum as needed.

Sword and Shield

Public Relations is more than media and more than brand-building. In times of growing skepticism, Public Relations defends against corporate mistrust by engaging and promoting dialogue in a consistent, visible and genuine manner. Ideally, authentic and transparent communication reinforces a constructive predisposition during good times as well draws on an organization’s positive reputation during times of scrutiny or crises. To do so, communicators need accurate research, actionable insights and the forethought to act.

Questions Every Public Relations Investment Decision Maker Should Ask

What is the extent of our customer’s loyalty to our brand? What are we doing to improve it?

Do our customers trust us? What do we need to do to earn even greater levels of trust?

What is the reputation of our organization? What are we doing to improve our reputation among key constituents?

What controls do we have in place to ensure our communications performance can be measured and our communicators held accountable?

About the Author

Mark Weiner is the Chief Executive Officer of PRIME Research, LP, an international research-based communications consultancy helping many of the world’s most admired companies and brands to improve their PR-ROI. Connect with Mark at or follow him on Twitter at @weinermark

Learn more about PRIME Research at

This article ran as a joint effort of The Institute for PR and PRIME Research. View the original post at

Share on Facebook
Tweet about this on Twitter
Share on LinkedIn
Email this to someone

Share this to social

You may also be interested in

How Integrated Measurement Can Revolutionize PR

Written by Nadin Vernon. Editor's Note: This article was first published as a chapter within AMEC's free eBook "Demonstrating the Value of Communication" Finding new ways to implement strategies is at the heart of those who embrace innovation and adapt to changes in the industry. Technologies already available, as well as those being developed as we speak, have the potential to revolutionize existing methods. There has never been a better time for PR measurement. Working agency-side, you can let automation take care of the legwork and use valuable analyst time to interpret results and add value by storytelling. If you’re in-house, looking to set up your own program, you can benefit in the same way. There are hundreds of easy-to-use tools available that will help you on ...

Learn more

The Big Deal About Big Data & PR

by Amanda Peterson Big data has become one of the most significant trends in modern technology. It’s no exaggeration to say that today’s society is generating massive amounts of information. In fact, studies have predicted that more than 90 percent of data in the world was created in the past two years. Such a wide scope of insight can be extremely useful across a range of industries, which is why many businesses are finding ways to take advantage of it. The field of public relations is no exception to the list of industries using big data to their advantage. Though PR is commonly recognized as a creative field, it is strongly supported by a backbone of research. Utilizing data is becoming increasingly important in PR because of its ability to improve campaign performance and generate ...

Learn more

Der CEO im politischen Spannungsfeld

In der anhaltenden Debatte um Zuwanderung und Integration halten sich die Manager der großen Unternehmen meist vornehm zurück. Wagt sich ein CEO aus der Deckung, kann er indes heftig in die Schusslinie geraten. Der Vorstandsvorsitzende der Siemens AG hat sich im vergangenen Frühjahr pointiert in die bis heute nicht abebbende Diskussion eingemischt. Er reagierte auf eine Äußerung der AfD-Vorsitzenden Alice Weidel, die im Deutschen Bundestag von "Kopftuchmädchen, Messermännern und anderen Nichtsnutzen" schwadronierte. Kaeser reagierte entschlossen und eindeutig in einem Tweet: "Lieber Kopftuchmädchen als Bund Deutscher Mädel." Für den Siemens-Chef war sein öffentlicher Beitrag eine "Herz- und Kopfentscheidung". Enorme Aufmerksamkeit Mit einigen wenigen Zeilen hat der Siemens-Chef ein ...

Learn more