In order to reach new customers and compete in today’s dynamic corporate landscape, companies are finding ways to complement their sales plans and existing client relationships. Business growth and marketing strategies continue to evolve and the most successful strategies include PR as a necessary element.
Public relations, as defined by the Public Relations Society of America, is a “strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.” PR can include different tactics for every business, but no matter the size of the company public relations has become as integral a part in brand growth as marketing, paid media, sales, and social media. We’ll highlight the 5 major benefits of implementing PR to achieve your business-building goals.
Being seen as an honest, reliable company in customers’ eyes is a strong competitive advantage. Increasing your brand’s credibility is critical to your company’s success but isn’t always easy to do. Articles which are strategically placed in targeted industry trade journals and publications create a path toward bolstering your brand’s character. If a story about your company appears in a publication, readers understand that the coverage was not paid for. When a company executive is quoted in an article, he or she is representing the brand and showcasing your company’s expertise and leadership.
Consumers are constantly exposed to advertisements in all forms, and often ignore most of them. On the other hand, when a consumer reads an article featuring your brand it is likely that consumer has sought out the information. Customers will likely find an article about your company to be more valuable and trustworthy than a paid advertisement aimed at selling a good or service.
Creates a Positive Brand Image
Companies that have a wealth of PR typically have a press page where these items are featured. Consistent and timely press releases show customers that your company has a strong reputation in the market and gives you a competitive edge over other companies in the space.
PR can also include crisis communications management. If a situation arises in which your company is put in a negative light, effective PR efforts can help protect your company’s brand and reputation to mitigate damage. Under the guidance of a PR strategy, an organization decides how to respond to a damaging scenario, controls the narrative and has the opportunity to turn public perception.
Generates Brand Awareness
Public relations is an effective way to get your brand name and products or services in front of more potential customers. PR, when done correctly, can be picked up by many media outlets giving your company more exposure to a larger audience. Customers who may not otherwise know your company becomes familiar with your brand through solid public relations efforts.
Positive news coverage about a company should be leveraged as well. For example, links to articles on reputable news sites can be included in email campaigns and on websites. Brand representatives can also use news coverage as a conversation starter with current or prospective clients.
Is Cost-Effective by Nature
Although the cost of PR will depend on what types of services a company needs, it typically comes at a lower cost than traditional marketing and advertising methods. Advertising is known as “paid media” while public relations is known as “earned media.” Rather than purchasing space in a publication, commercial time on television or advertising space on a website, a public relations article that discusses your brand and company will be featured in the editorial section. This publicity comes at no cost and lends credible support to a company’s image.
Public relations tactics also include press releases, speaking engagements, and community events. These PR actions are typically undertaken at little or no cost to a company but can have great benefits.
Enhances Customer Relationships
Effective PR strategies have the best interest of your company in mind. Customized public relations campaigns help your organization reach its business goals and make you a stronger company in the process. When your company is viewed positively in the market, that perception flows through the internal culture and ultimately benefits external customers.
PR is an integral way to enhance existing customer relationships and build new ones. Business growth is fueled by brand awareness and customers will see your brand as credible when your company appears in trustworthy news sources.
When customers have a positive image of your brand, sales are more likely to follow. If you are not using PR as part of your brand building strategy, it may be time to consider it.