Has it ever crossed your mind why some businesses dedicate so much time to worrying about public relations, and the potential effect it could have on their company?
Well, the answer is that it has the potential to drastically change the fortunes of your business, and also the way others view your organisation.
In the real world, PR can be extremely expensive depending on how and when it is used. This is because it is time-consuming, and involves a long labour-intensive process.
Despite the previous paragraph being of a rather downbeat nature, don’t be fooled, because PR will reward your investment, and hard work in the long-run, by providing your business with the best achievable return, for its marketing budget.
With many placing PR in the same basket as marketing, PR is arguably the least understood of all marketing tools. The main objective of PR is to use intermediaries to communicate with your audience and influence them. The said intermediaries will most likely include industry spokespersons, stock analysts, investors, trend setters, industry analysts, customers, employees, and even the electronic and print media. More than likely, your company will have very little power over those influencers, or intermediaries, which will result in the public relations side of your business being problematic.
On the flip side of this, advertising is able to provide you with that control because it lets you create your company’s messages, pair them with a supporting graphic, and then place them where you wish your audience to view them and as you intend for them to view them.
To get people to take notice of your business, you must convince many important influencers that the service or product you are selling is worth considering. This includes having a complete plan in place, as people don’t have time to waste weighing up incomplete ideas.
The main points to tick off when coming up with a well-rounded plan will include: –
- Knowing your competition well.
- Knowing your chosen industry well.
- Knowing you your product/service can be most effectively utilised.
- Knowing your audience.
- Knowing your customer’s needs, and requirements.
- Understand why what you are communicating to your audience is of vital importance to them.
You may also have convinced yourself that everything is in place with regards to your advertising audience. But, this isn’t the case. As they are individuals on a database or spreadsheet, they will remain mainly anonymous to your business. As a result of this, the best way to communicate with them will be to see them as a circle that shares common interests, rather than attempting to reach out to them as a specific individual. Because of what it is, advertising focuses on mass communication.
PR also gives your business invaluable credibility, because it will operate through many well-respected intermediaries. An added bonus that these intermediaries provide, is that they target the intended audience, while also filtering out any irrelevant content. If these messages are then chosen to be communicated, they will gain credibility because of the intermediaries already established credibility.
A first-class public relations strategy will always involve laying down ongoing relationships with important intermediaries (which will then include their audience), while also understanding how your business may turn into an excellent data source for the influential. In order to get this relationship aligned correctly, it is essential that your company has provided the following:-
- An in-depth knowledge of the influencer’s needs.
- A quick response to the influencer’s requests.
- Instant accessibility to key executives within your organisation.
- Honestly being able to state your case.
Your PR communications with influencers doesn’t always need to be in relation to your business. By offering accessibility to your consumers in order for the influencer to study how they’re finding solutions using your company’s services, is an essential method of being able to offer more data. The influencer appreciates that you are not going to provide them with a disgruntled customer, but without your assistance, they very unlikely to be able to gain access. The influencer will also have the opportunity to contact your customer regarding your competitors and look at what they’re doing on a broader scale compared with your company.
As you can see, public relations is a very important part of your business, and if you are able to accomplish all, or at least most, of the above, it will help your organisation look more influential and imperative than it is in reality.
If you would like any assistance with PR & Media relations, don’t hesitate to contact us on 01246 586330!