PR, if you don’t know, is short for “Public Relations.” It is the act of keeping a favorable opinion of your business or organization. Before we get into the 4 reasons why PR is crucial, let’s talk about what PR encompasses.
According to the Public Relations Society of America,
“At its core, public relations is about influencing, engaging and building a relationship with key stakeholders across numerous platforms in order to shape and frame the public perception of an organization.”
Essentially, PR is any sort of third-party validation that provides what is called “earned” or “free” media. No one was paid to talk about it. Maybe a decade or so ago, PR was mainly focused on print and word of mouth conversations. As our world has moved into a digital space, this PR also encompasses blog posts, articles, third party reviews and commentaries, and even social media.
So what does an agency do if PR isn’t paid promotion? We make sure the right information gets out there for the taking.
Clearly, PR is important, but you’re probably thinking, why does my business need it? Here are 4 Reasons why PR is crucial for your business.
1. PR Creates Brand Awareness
The first of the 4 reasons why PR is crucial, is that any sort of public acknowledgment of your company creates brand awareness. If people have never heard of you, people won’t know you exist! Brand awareness is the first step towards making a name for yourself and becoming an established brand. It can be something as simple as someone recommending your company for a product or service on a forum that boosts you into the eye-lines of thousands.
But now that you’re there, you have to potential customers what you’re all about! Some may say that all publicity is good publicity, but we beg to differ.
2. Direct Contact with Customers
With your business being discussed publicly, this gives you a rare opportunity to get a feel for what people think of what you have to offer. Behind a screen, people are much more likely to feel safe enough to express how they really feel about something, or call a company out for doing something wrong. We see this all the time with the rise of social media.
From Wendy’s to globally operating airlines, countless people take to social media daily to try to get in touch with someone higher-up a corporate. Whether it be a good a bad or experience that someone may be broadcasting, it allows the company’s accessibility to their client base’s experiences and thoughts that has never been available before.
But, what you do with this information is up to you.
Looking for inspiration in the world of PR on social media? Check out this article of the 35 Twitter Accounts Every PR Pro Needs to Follow.
3. PR Creates a Solid Foundation & Positive Image
In today’s world, consumers want to know what the companies they’re patronizing are up to. They want to know if a company is being sustainable, ecologically responsible, if they’re operating ethically, if they’re vocal on polarizing issues if they’re supporting and giving back to their communities (just like we’ve been doing,) etc. Creating a positive image for your company and readily providing that information to prospective consumers is necessary for creating a positive image.
And even if your company is hit with a negative comment somewhere— A review published in a newspaper, a comment on a social media account— how you handle that hit can make or break your business. (Read more about this in this article from Hubspot.)
There is an absolute art to acknowledging, explaining, and accepting fault as a company.
Ask any 16-25 year old who has ever worked retail.
Having someone at the ready to handle these situations turn what might have seemed like the end of the world, into an award-winning move for your company.
4. Third-Party = Unbiased
Lastly, as a company, you can say anything you want about how amazing and wonderful you are. But you have a reason to say that, you want to be successful. The best (or sometimes worst) thing about PR is that it’s a third-party opinion. These opinions are often seen as more credible in the eyes of the public.
Put yourself in a customer’s shoes— when you’re looking for a product or service, you look to the reviews! Someone that has nothing to gain from vouching for you plays a massive part in a consumer’s decision-making process.
In an article written by Robert Wynne, for Forbes.com, Bob Gold of Bob Gold & Associates of Redondo Beach, California says,
“Can your agency find and “ get” your voice? And do they lead the conversation, like a good dinner partner or are they too busy gathering clips?”Forbes.com
It’s important to find an agency that understands your company, who you are and what you want to accomplish. That’s where Nicklaus Marketing & PR comes in!
Hopefully breaking down the 4 reasons why PR is crucial for your business has helped you better understand the importance and the potential that can be unlocked for your business.
Looking for help in boosting your business’ reputation, or are a start-up and looking to get ahead of the game? Or what about learning more about advertising online? Either way, we’re ready to help. Get in touch with us today!