“What is Public Relations?” “What can PR do for my business?”
These are common questions that businesses ask before they embark on a potentially very rewarding investment. In short, Public Relations or PR is a broad set of activities that contributes to an organisation’s communication and overall effectiveness. The practise helps to build relationships between companies and their target audience, establishing trust between the two.
PR professionals listen to the interests of both the audience and the organisation to create mutually beneficial relationships. This means the business understands its customer base better and can better communicate with them. In turn, this contributes to the overall effectiveness of the company and contributes to its bottom line.
PR activities are not limited to press releases, press conferences and media appearances; they also include the creation and reinforcement of brand messaging and company values. Other aspects include social media, podcasting, SEO and other digital forms of communications that complement marketing activities.
Whether you are interested in carrying out your own PR activities or employing a PR agency, here are some key benefits you should be aware of:
What are the key benefits of PR for businesses?
1. Establishes credibility
Compared to advertising and marketing, PR content is more authentic, informative and valuable. PR focuses on “earned” media rather than “paid” media, meaning that coverage is granted based on newsworthiness rather than sponsorship. This results in more credible coverage as an independent third party verifies the information.
2. Creates brand awareness
PR is an effective way to promote your brand, including your products and services, without the use of advertising. Promotional announcements and positive news stories create a conversation around your business and increase the number of people your messages reach. Sharing good news stories also displays your company culture, making your business a more attractive employer for potential candidates.
3. Builds relationships
The key to successful PR activity is building strong long-term relationships with customers. This is done by incorporating business values into messaging and communications strategies to build trust with audiences.
4. Attracts potential customers
Securing the right media placements is beneficial for reaching potential customers. If a potential client reads about your businesses in a trusted publication, they will be more likely to engage with your business. Online coverage can also play a huge role in helping businesses to attract customers by enabling them to be more searchable and rank higher on Google listings.
5. Makes you stand out
Through successful PR, a business can position themselves as leaders in their industry and stand out from the competition. Such content allows an organisation to get involved in broader industry conversations and share their knowledge while also promoting their brand. Businesses can provide their insights with the media, online or during privately hosted talks and events, thus positioning themselves as the go-to experts in their sector.
The benefits of investing in PR are clear. However, some organisations may not have the time or resources to manage these activities fully. In this case, PR agencies provide a valuable service. Not only will this save time, but it also opens a broad range of skills, relationships and ideas which many organisations would not have in-house. Our only advice is to choose a specialist to help. If you are a tech company, this is our area of expertise and we would love to talk.
If you would like to learn more about what PR is in a business context and how it can deliver for your organisation, check out this previous blog post here.