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“If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on Public Relations.” These are the words of the famous Bill Gates, the chairman and founder of Gates Foundation, Microsoft. How about we digest on those words, right?
Certainly that means Public Relations (PR) is an integral part of any business or even individual. It goes a long way to relating with our customers, with regards to our products or services. In the absence of a PR strategy, you risk letting someone else establish your brand identity.
So what is PR really? It is literally relating with the public, which makes you get more exposure, placing you in front of your target audience by managing the spread of information between an individual or organization and the public. Take for instance, an organization like Inversk Group, generating an article featuring a client, rather than paying for the client to be advertised next to the article. Now that is not marketing. Rather it is Public Relations.
In organizations where PR is upheld, three main things happen in favor of the organization: It helps shape a likable image to your customers; it boosts your niche authority and definitely draws in new customers.
PR is divided into five broad categories: Product PR, which is managing the release of new products into the market. Financial PR is building up a relation to shareholders and customers. Corporate PR helps in communicating the core conception of the companies for customers. Employee PR focuses more on employments and HR. Government PR helps in setting up a correct attitude towards the political perspective.
Benefits of PR for any brand include:
Raising Awareness on the kind of product or service you offer. And how are you able to achieve this as a growing business? Well, how about you send out your message by a third party, be by a celebrity or blogger with thousands of followers? Of course that goes without saying; you will establish your brand.
PR builds up credibility in the sense that it operates through numerous trusted intermediaries, who in turn communicate to a certain audience, which looks to them to filter out all nonsense.
Public Relations can double up as a marketing tool. That means killing two birds with one stone, because both of them provide information and communication of a particular brand to a prospective customer. PR is actually a component of marketing, and it is most times confused for marketing.
Strengthening relations is another benefit of PR. Being an active member of a community establishes your credibility with consumers.
PR entices investors who generate positive public coverage, giving your business a better negotiating position with potential investors and this helps you secure partnerships and funding.
PR boosts niche authority in the sense that, getting featured on media outlets could be massively beneficial, especially if you are trying to own a niche.
PR also helps you know your competition up-close and personal. This is good because it makes you realize you are not the only one in the market and this gives you clues on how to keep up with competitors, while still retaining the best.
PR helps in managing the reputation of your company. If you serve customers well, and provide solutions to their queries, they will go out with a positive feedback about the organization.
PR also promotes brand values. This tool can be used to send out positive messages to your target audiences that are in line with your brand.
In the case of a Crisis Management, where the company or brand has had a bad report, they should incorporate PR to do the following, in order to avoid a similar scenario in future:
Conduct a Risk Audit: This is basically identifying areas where the company is most vulnerable so that potential crisis can be prioritized.
Identify Audiences: This is important because it helps you as a company or organization to identify audiences who could demand for information in a crisis situation and how they would be communicated to.
Identifying and training spokespeople: this is done by ensuring that employees of the organization are trained in techniques for communicating with the public and assisting where necessary. This is also a way for business professionals to gain knowledge on multiple topics through regular organizational meetings.
You will agree with me that PR is fundamental in any growing or already established business. After all, who doesn’t want to be the best?