We are exposed to the fruits of public relations every single day, in every medium -- TV, newspapers, radio, on social media, and in magazines. It’s a growing industry. Never before have so many people and businesses been in the public eye. However, despite views to the contrary, not all PR is good PR!
What does good PR look like in a business context? PR is a strategic communication process that earns people’s attention through creative, newsworthy, interesting, and targeted content. When it is done well, it can make a significant positive impact on a business’ growth.
There are many assumptions about the industry. Here, we address some of the most common myths and highlight how a good PR agency can help a business to make the most of the spotlight.
Myth 1 - It’s the same as advertising
PR and advertising are alike in some ways. They are both designed to help build brands and communicate with a targeted audience. However, that is where the similarities end.
When an organisation engages in PR, it provides information through a series of press releases, interviews, and other content through trusted media. PR looks at the bigger picture and works to create “brand fans” including customers and stakeholders, rather than focusing on shorter-term gains.
When a company engages in an advertising campaign, they pay for the designated space and dictate how it is used. This is often a short-term campaign and is often done to promote a specific product or service.
Often, consumers don’t believe ads because they know that whoever has paid for them controls the narrative. While it is far more difficult to manage how information is delivered through PR, customers know that when it is presented by a trusted third party, it is far more likely to be reliable. Which brings us nicely to the next myth...
Myth 2 - PR is a pack of untruths
Good PR is honest PR - pure and simple. The success of a PR campaign relies on an agency’s relationship with the media. A good PR agency takes time to get to know its clients and their objectives. By doing so they can attract attention through creative campaigns that are based 100% on truth.
To provide the media with misinformation and false statements in an attempt to attract attention is to shoot yourself in the foot. Once people discover this kind of behaviour, the good reputation of a company is drawn into question.
A good PR agency knows that by consistently providing credible and honest facts, figures and information that can be proven, they can build trust with journalists who will come to know that they can rely on the source of the information. That is why it is utterly essential that honesty prevails in all correspondence with the media.
Myth 3 - You can’t measure PR
It is true that the benefits of PR can be more difficult to track than the benefits of other marketing tactics like digital marketing, but it’s not impossible. As Ireland’s premier tech PR agency, our focus is on driving growth for clients, and this can be measured in a number of ways, not least new inbound leads driven by PR.
Marketing guru Philip Kotler has proven that consumers are five times more likely to be influenced by editorial copy than by advertising. To that end, we use our trusted contacts in the media sphere to ensure that the quality of our coverage is second to none. These influential individuals drive the target audience to information from our clients and this will lead to growth when done well.
Of course, the rise of digital media has also had an impact on how we measure the success of a PR campaign. Another way we measure our success is the placing search optimised client news on page one on Google for terms that a client wants to be found for.
A PR agency that understands how to do this can enable its clients to appear multiple times on page one of Google for phrases such as “cloud connectivity” for example. Research shows that more than 70% of the sales process is now completed by buyers before there is any sales staff engagement, so this plays a critical role in helping to optimise the new buyer journey.
Myth 4 - You only need PR in times of crisis
PR can be hugely beneficial in times of crisis to help diffuse a harmful situation and sometimes to turn a negative into a positive. But there are many other reasons why companies should consider taking on a PR agency.
Properly managed PR and social media make a company or organisation more accessible to buyers and consumers. This familiarity helps to bridge the trust gap between a business, and would-be clients. It also encourages new connections within a sector and creates an air of reliability and credibility in a company. As a brand or company’s managed popularity grows, influential journalists and influencers realise that they can trust a business. This often results in more positive coverage, and in the event of a negative situation and media comment, can help with balanced reporting.
Today’s audience is more sophisticated than ever with access to numerous sources of news and information. We have honed our traditional and new media skills to help our clients make the most of the media to the benefit of their organisation. In an era when everyone is digitally connected, PR makes a significant impact on an organisation’s success.
If you’d like to find out more about how we could help you, you can contact us here.