Richard Branson, a renowned businessman, once said publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front-page ad.
Before we get into the importance of public relations in business, there are a few things you must know about. Many business owners confuse PR with free advertisement. But they can’t be more wrong. Let’s get one thing clear, PR is not an advertisement, nor is it free. As a matter of fact, it is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process. Also, it is one of the traditional marketing tools that is proven to give the best returns to the business.
So, without any further ado, let’s dive into why public relations is considered a lifeline of every business.
- The Primary Role Of Public Relations
In simple words, PR is a communication process business owners use to connect to their target audience and the general public. The idea is to gain the audience’s trust and organically convince them to support your business. Public relations is all about creating a positive brand image and fostering relationships with potential consumers, stakeholders, and business partners. Think of it as building the reputation of your business in the industry.
Also, being a business owner, you might be familiar with the importance of word-of-mouth marketing. That’s precisely what PR focuses on. Here are some other primary roles of PR that can benefit your business in the long run.
- Builds the credibility of your business in the industry: This is done by sending out authentic information, messages and pulling together bona fide views and opinions from knowledgeable executives to the outside world.
- Develops personal, and strong relationships: A strong PR strategy focuses on setting up and strengthening ongoing relationships with influencers, investors, target audience, stakeholders, media professionals, and other business professionals. Such relationships add value to your business and can turn out to be an investment in the future.
- Advertisement vs. Public Relations
Advertising is to say how good your business is and PR is getting someone else to say the same thing.
As mentioned earlier, advertisement and public relations are two different concepts. You shell out hefty sums for advertisements because you need to play your ads repeatedly to bombard the audience. Even then, the results are unpredictable.
On the other hand, PR allows your business to feature and get viral in prominent magazines, newspapers, or online portals. It boosts your brand identity and makes your business credible enough with validation from knowledgeable entities. These entities often include renowned publications, dependable journalists, and other important forms of third-party media. It wouldn’t be wrong to say that PR does have the upper hand when your business needs to gain a foothold in the respective market or industry.
- How to get started?
Now that you know everything about PR and how important it is for the sustainability of your business, you must be thinking about where to start. That’s alright because we have listed some PR tools for you to incorporate into your business plan.
Let’s take a look at some of them.
- Press releases: Its primary purpose is to promote something meaningful and specific. The document adheres to a strict format containing all the necessary information about anything that you want to share on behalf of your business.
The goal is to notify the media so that they can use their tactics to spread the word. Also, the content in a press release is written keeping in mind the interest of the target audience and media professionals.
- Building Media Relations: One of the most effective PR strategies is to build positive media relations. According to industry professionals, media relations are vital marketing tools that can help propel your business and take your brand to a whole new level.
The best way to do it is by writing pitches to journalists and other industry professionals. It is written to convince them to upload or release a positive story or review of the business or by hosting a press conference. The tool also plays an important role in increasing brand awareness, elevating its reputation, and generating leads in the market.
Remember, communication is the key to building effective and strong media relations for your business. Thus, make sure that you establish a healthy relationship with local media and news agencies as they are one of the excellent channels to deliver the intended message. Then executed correctly, media relations can prove to be an intangible asset for your company.
- Corporate Social Responsibility: Companies that earn good credits by being socially responsible have a huge scope for achieving a more positive image than those who are not. Nevertheless, you can also count on CSR initiatives to provide a differentiating factor for businesses.
In fact, you’ll be surprised to know that around 91% of global consumers believe that businesses should be able to look beyond making profits. Not only this, but 90% of the consumers have also admitted that they would boycott a company if they get to know about their deceptive and irresponsible practices. Addressing current issues related to society and the environment, hosting charity events and fundraisers will get you into the good books of your potential customers. For instance, you can organize a free health camp for heart patients or a fundraiser for homeless people. Or if possible, you can give a handsome donation to support a good cause.
In simple words, CSR is all about doing good and giving back to the community. It creates a ripple effect for your business reputation and helps in earning good credits.
Before implementing any PR tool and strategy in your marketing plan, you should know that one size doesn’t fit all. Every business requires a different approach and needs different strategies to gain positive results.
Public relations is one of the traditional marketing tools that has evolved with time. The influx of social media and online portals has certainly created hype in the PR strategies. With online media, you can easily break geographical barriers and be visible to your target audience organically. Considering that, drafting strong PR strategies can undoubtedly be a worthwhile endeavor for your business.