Public Relations Matters

By Moani Wright-Van Alst
Wednesday - July 06, 2011
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By Moani Wright-Van Alst
President, Public Relations Society of America Hawaii chapter

Success in any business isn’t just about being better than the competition. The fact is, even competitive businesses can’t survive if they fail to communicate their success.

That’s where public relations comes in. Public relations is more than just writing press releases. It is about communicating with your audience, which then builds trust, creates networks of support and positions your company favorably.

Public relations is about crafting and conveying meaningful messages that will engage your target audiences your employees, current and potential customers and key stakeholders by telling them who you are, why people should purchase your product and how your business will benefit them. In today’s changing communications landscape, that engagement is increasingly two-way. While this has created opportunities for greater and more genuine engagement, it also magnifies the hazards of poor messaging and the need for public relations strategies.

As the president of the Hawaii chapter of the Public Relations Society of America (PRSA), I am privileged to be part of a community of more than 100 public relations practitioners in our state. We work for PR agencies, nonprofits, corporations, industries and even ourselves, representing our clients/organizations in all types of situations. We are charged with being the voice for our client, sharing good and bad news, or, in some cases, no news at all. So I can speak from experience when I say that it’s a very rare enterprise that doesn’t engage in public relations of some sort, if only by simply doing business.

The close-knit community of PRSA Hawaii chapter members. Photos courtesy Moani Wright-Van Alst

To see how successful public relations can benefit a business, take a look at the top-notch work on display at the PRSA’s 28th Annual Koa Anvil Awards July 28. We will honor excellence in Hawaii’s public relations industry and recognize three outstanding PR individuals: Duke Gonzales, APR of the U.S. Postal Service, Huy Vo of Bright Light Marketing and Ruth Limtiaco, APR of The Limtiaco Company.

The Koa Anvil Awards allow us to stop and look at the amazing achievements in our industry every year. It is a reminder of the value that public relations can provide to businesses, and when you see the exceptional campaigns and projects being honored this year, it is clear why public relations matters.

For more information about PRSA or the Koa Anvil Awards ceremony, visit

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