What Are the 5 W’s of Public Relations?

5 w's public relations 08.03.20

Plenty of people have already heard about the five W’s before, mainly used for gathering information, no matter what the topic is about. These questions – what, who, why, when, and where, are usually used in research, from police investigations to research papers in school.

While these questions might seem simple to some people, they are part of a formula when it comes to getting detailed information about any given subject.

If a business is trying to create a successful public relations campaign, they need to ask these important 5 W’s.


The first thing that any business that’s trying to create a successful public relations campaign should be asking is what the PR campaign is going to be as well as what the purpose of the campaign is going to be. Since this is going to be the main way for the business to convince the public to care about its products or services, the answer to this question needs to be something that others will be interested in.


The next question that needs to be asked is who should be doing the campaign, and the answer should be anyone that cares about both the success and the visibility of the business. The main goal here shouldn’t be simply to create content for the audience, and instead, should be focused on customer communication. Because if a business wants to keep the audience thinking about its products or services, the business has to communicate with the customers.


One of the most important questions that need to be answered is, “why should others be interested in the business, and what are they going to get out of the business?.” This is a question that plenty of people tend to overlook, and is the reason why some businesses don’t achieve the success that they were looking for when they first started a PR campaign.


Next up is the when question – when is the campaign going to be happening, and the answer to this should be ‘all the time.’ Because PR is a great way to build a brand’s reputation, but this reputation can’t be built overnight. That’s why businesses should share frequent updates with the audience – anything from announcements about new key hires in developing new products or services. A good public relations campaign should always be looking for more opportunities to communicate important matters about the company.


The final W question is where the PR campaign is different when compared to general advertising – and the answer should be practically everywhere. The main difference between advertising and PR is the fact that the former is paid media, and the latter is earned media. With advertising, a business has to spend money to increase brand awareness as well as sales. Meanwhile, with public relations, the news that the business shares can easily be picked up by websites and media outlets, and improve brand awareness.

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