Public relations (PR) is an often misunderstood business function that often gets confused with advertising and marketing. Quite often businesses don’t understand PR at all.
Public relations is often done to generate publicity and promote a business. PR is a way for your brand to get noticed through media channels such as large reputable publications, podcasts,
and TV appearances on reputable shows.
The idea behind PR is that it builds a strong reputation for your brand and gives it credibility because people are talking about your brand. They are hearing from other sources how good your product is and why they should buy it.
PR is not like advertising. Advertising space can be purchased, and the brand is telling the consumer how great their product is and why they should buy it.
PR, on the other hand, is a great way to get the word out about your product and it takes the selling factor out of it because your brand is being talked about, not sold.
PR is a great way to amplify word-of-mouth exposure for a product.
PR is also a less expensive alternative to advertising. Public relations is earned media.
Your PR agency pitches to credible media sources and does not pay for this publicity, and readers and viewers know that you have not paid your way to get this exposure.
Knowing that a journalist or TV host is writing about the product in a way that offers a different view that advertising exposure would not weighs more credibility on the publicity.
There are various ways PR can help your brand, and these are the top ways in which a PR strategy can help your business:
PR helps you determine your business goals
When meeting with a PR expert they will take you through an onboarding process and help you get clear on your goals.
Whether you’d like to position yourself as a thought leader, build credibility, increase visibility or whatever your goals are, your PR expert will help you get clear on your goals and create a roadmap on how to get you there.
PR helps you find the right platforms to get your message out
Your PR expert will help you focus on the right audience for your business. They know where your features should be best placed to reach the customer base that would ideally purchase your goods or services.
A feature in a large publication is only good if that’s where your people are.
PR helps create content that makes people care
When you start working with a PR expert, they will have you establish your brand or business stories.
Typically, there will be three top stories that you use when seeking publicity for your brand. Your PR expert will help form those stories into messages that people will want to listen to and pay attention to.
Creating a brand that people want to engage with is part of the business process and one of the best ways to add value to your audience.
PR understands your audience and creates a relationship with them
The PR expert understands what your audience is looking for. They understand the pain point or problem that they have and show how your product or service can help heal them.
When you reach your audience in a way that shows value to them, they will begin to like you and trust you.
PR is cost-effective
It’s been proven that PR is a more cost-effective option than advertising. The difference between advertising and PR is that advertising can yield immediate results, where PR is more of a long game. Advertising is selling the customer though, where PR is building a relationship.
PR loves marketing
As marketing is focused on promoting and selling a product, PR focuses on why that is an excellent product to want to purchase.
PR is a promotional effort that falls under the marketing umbrella, along with advertising. But PR is cost-effective and an excellent way to build credibility and brand reputation.
Customers seek you out
When customers start hearing about you and your business and how your product or service can help them resolve an issue, they will look for you. Customers need to be reminded about your product more than once to know that they can use you.
PR increases your brand visibility
Black Oak has structured and married the marketing aspect of a business with the PR aspect in a way that they complement each other and work together to raise their brand authority and credibility.
When you create content for your business that is keyword optimized, you are making your business searchable in Google.
Coming up in a google search within the first page is prime real
estate in google and this positioning cannot be purchased. No amount of advertising can allow you to get organic search results.
This type of plan requires a marketing strategy, and therefore we combined the beauty of search engine optimization (SEO) and using valuable backlinks that you get from PR and publication outlets is a strategy that is designed to beat your competition.
Public relations is the most effective way to build on marketing and enhancing your reputation and authority.
A good reputation equals good PR. Having a targeted and effective PR campaign is critical. There is no value in sending out the wrong message for your business, so it’s essential to work with your PR agent to ensure you are on the same page and the message is clear.
Public relations is a long term game and it’s important to frame your expectations.
People need to hear about your product or service several times before they even check you out. People need to know, like and trust you. Don’t forget who you are serving and be sure to establish a positive relationship with your potential customers.
Don’t expect one or two big media wins to bring customers banging down your door for service. Yes, it can happen on occasion, but it isn’t the norm. Acquiring a customer is very much like dating, and they want to learn more about you before they are all in.
You can’t rush a relationship; it takes time and customers need to be nurtured. Key messages need to be communicated with professionalism.
When you have a PR expert working with you, they can help you get clear on your messages and what you’d like to communicate to your audience. The PR agent is a key member of your team and should have open communication with your marketing professionals and advertising professionals. This ensures a nice, cohesive message is being communicated.
Media is still top when it comes to shaping public opinion.
The media has such a large presence in our lives. Although the landscape has changed and grown into social media platforms, the media has the power to shape our opinions.
They are a major news source and if there is negative publicity it can be extremely damaging to a brand. You need to ensure your PR agent is there to help you manage negative publicity should that arise.
Values make your brand, and when you communicate your values to ensure your brand attracts those with similar values as you, you are creating trust. Do not break the trust of your people or they will not be happy with you. It will negatively impact your reach and numbers.
Good PR will increase brand awareness.
When PR is done right and strategically it will get media attention to the outlets where the customers are at. PR will not yield results when it is geared to the wrong audience. Media outlets used such as print, online, podcasts and TV spots need to be aligned with how you want to reach your audience.
While the PR is out there building trust for your brand, the momentum can pick up and faster partnerships will be formed. When other brands see a fit where they can compliment you and your brand, they will be more likely to partner with you sooner because that trust has been established.
All business activities will impact your bottom line, and PR is not different. When PR is done right, it will increase profit in an indirect way. Although PR is a slow game, after some time churning out stories and newsworthy items, it will create a flow of customers.
The bottom line is when you are a startup business you have a limited time to create a customer base and nurture your audience before you launch your first product.
You want to create hype around that product and make people feel excited to get in on part of that action.
You want to show them why you are different and why they need to purchase from you. PR is a great way to get that message out. It is cost-effective and perfect for bootstrapping businesses in the beginning.
Want to learn more about how the right PR efforts can skyrocket your business? Book a call with us today!