Don’t worry, this isn’t a sales pitch.
Once upon a time, many businesses questioned the real value of PR – only deeming it necessary when there was a crisis to remedy or a new product to promote. Companies didn’t see why an omnipresence in their sector was important – I mean, customers would just know about their brand and come to them, right?
Wrong, I’m afraid.
PR is more than writing a news story. It means fostering journalist relationships, media research, content creation and client liaisons, plus brand and reputation management – no mean feat, I’m sure you can agree.
We all know that digitisation of our communications has taken over, and with content – news stories, videos, music, conversations, emails, and more – available at the click of a mouse or the swipe of a smartphone, it’s more important than ever for brands to establish themselves in a very noisy marketplace.
So, in a nutshell, why does your company need PR? Here’s a quartet of reasons which help skim the surface of this multifaceted industry…
- Avoid any brand misrepresentation
PRs across the country will shudder when they hear the well-uttered phrase “any publicity is good publicity,” because this really isn’t true.
Organisations may think because they’re in the news, this will effortlessly increase their brand awareness and overall industry profile. And, while there is truth in the fact that audiences will be seeing your name, there’s no guarantee it’s the right audience. This also needs to be effectively managed to ensure consistency with values and voice – otherwise one wrong word could result in some rather unpleasant backlash or critique.
A good PR that knows your company – and sector – inside-out will not only get your stories in key publications seen by your targets and sales verticals, but ensures your ethos is clearly communicated and reputation is robust. There’s no room for fake news here…
- Generate successful sales
One of the less obvious – but most sought-after – benefits of PR is warm leads.
We understand that every firm wants to do well when it comes to selling its products or services, but strangely enough, PR can be overlooked because of this very reason. All too often, the transactional nature of the business is left to the dedicated sales team.
While this is undoubtedly a vital component of the corporate mix, when deployed in tandem with some clearly focused communications, wonderful things can happen.
Your sales team have set targets and a plan of what needs to be pushed – and where – but if they don’t know how to tailor the story to the reader, or indeed have a relevant platform on which to voice this, the news falls on deaf ears.
One of the best ways to home in on your golden-ticket audience is to speak to them directly through the websites and magazines they engage with. PRs conduct vital research to speak your company’s and prospects’ language – bridging the communication disconnect between the two. Et voila, the perfect environment for a relationship is created.
- Don’t suffer from an identity crisis
Let’s say your business has a website, social media presence and a blog, if the tone of voice and message isn’t consistent across all platforms, you could find yourself in a bit of a pickle – as well as having to deal with a lot of confused customers.
Half the battle is ensuring communications convey your brand’s personality and main proposition, the other half is marrying this up with how it’s then presented and perceived in the media.
PR is a tool which can mediate all of the above – hooray! But, aside from keeping language uniform, it can also tell your corporate story and show that you’re human too.
From business-focussed growth press releases and advice-led comments, to publicity for an upcoming charity event, PR carves organisations a place in their relevant industries and also gives them a soul.
Of course, an advantageous by-product is it can also help with attracting the right-fit candidates during the recruitment process – if your company is transparent, your workplace culture will shine through and draw in the required talent.
- Get friendly with Google
With an increasing number of publications becoming digitised – or having both print and online outlets – PR can also be an invaluable instrument when firms want to up their search-engine game.
Once upon a time, keyword-loaded webpages and bad-quality backlinks were enough to bag a top spot on page one of Google results. But now – thank goodness – this is achieved more on merit, or moreover, how a website performs against each of Google’s algorithm requirements.
Nowadays, the wider marketing mix has a huge role to play in orchestrating a Google-friendly website, and good PR can positively impact performance and make your site more trustworthy!
For example, if you gain coverage on an online news outlet or e-magazine – which has authority and ranks well – this can, in turn, improve your own domain authority, especially if there’s a link back to the site.
Naturally, this goes hand in hand with brand recognition too. The more people who see your company on reliable platforms they trust, the more they believe in it.
So, whether you’ve been toying with the idea of PR for your business, or simply wanted to find out more, one thing to bear in mind is that it’s is completely bespoke to your firm and objectives – and when done right, becomes a cornerstone of your sales and marketing strategies.