PR is a term you see so often in your everyday life, you probably don’t give it much thought anymore. However, it’s a practice that every business needs in order to prosper and establish itself as a leader in its industry. But why is it important and how does public relations actually contribute to a brand’s success?
The most important aspect of PR is trust. It helps brands to build trust within their community - using methods and strategies that develop and spread their values, ideas, and innovations. But apart from trust, we’ll discuss 10 other reasons why PR is important.
There’s a number of different ways in which PR grows and nurtures reputations. Crisis communication is a popular example to use when it comes to this. However, image and reputation management is a long-term process and not something that can be achieved with a once off campaign.
It needs to be constantly looked over and maintained in order to solidify its credibility. The longer a reputation has been kept for, the stronger the impact on the target audience. That’s why PR’s importance comes in a prolonged process of reputation management, where each achievement and event revolving around a brand is crafted to help the brand’s image.
Public relations is strongly oriented towards communicating brand values. After all, it is implemented with the notion to create added value. PR is also about creating shared meaning, through connecting with those who share the same values as the person/brand/company.
The practice of PR steps in to firstly identify these values. What a company supports and believes in is important, but it’s also important to have a clear idea of that. Then these values are openly discussed, and constantly put hand in hand with the brand itself. Eventually, The brand will be associated with these values, and the target audience will be able to relate to the things it supports as well.
The above ties into how community relations are strengthened by PR. Another example of how PR builds community relationships is when a company scales their business globally. Usually, a PR team takes care of building community bonds in the new and current market.
Once the target audience has been reached, a community will form out of the common values that the brand preaches. PR teams are here to make sure that these values connect with the community, but also establish a two-way communication channel for better engagement with the community.
PR demands attention from the public. How? By supplying the market with value adding information. PR communication materials are created with the aim of supporting holistic marketing activities, by supplying educational; inspirational and compelling content.
That way, in addition to the marketing activities, which mainly aim at increasing sales and promoting the product or service, PR teams will tag along to provide additional information about the brand, and how it relates to the product/service. This will contextualize the environment, instead of letting the product float with no additional information as added value.
Through PR, it is possible to gain increased online brand visibility.
The benefit is that digital content lives longer, meaning that online articles can generate continuous exposure.
It is also possible to get backlinks from other online sources (blogs, news articles, reviews, etc.) for your own website. In PR, media relations is an important tool to have as part of your communications kit. Not only can valuable media connections help build brand awareness, it also aids in increasing credibility and managing reputations. The media acts as the middleman between a company and its audience. This is why PR managers aim to get positive, quality coverage (earned media) for their clients. This is why healthy media relations are important in PR - to assist in the process of getting valuable news to target audiences.
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The economical advantages of PR aren’t mentioned as often, but they exist. For large corporations, this isn’t even a topic, but for startup and scaleup businesses that struggle to put themselves out there it can make all the difference.
Since up and coming companies are on a tight budget, marketing is much more difficult to achieve. Here, PR steps in to create a name for the brand in a cost-efficient way.
The takeaway from PR campaigns are long lasting and will impact the target audience in relation to the company’s image. In the long run, this will open the door for small and medium businesses to establish themselves in their industry.
Although marketing teams often aim their strategies at social media platforms for the larger reach, their approach is not the best for that type of platform. Social media platforms are meant for more back-and-forth communication with a target audience. Instead of simply exposing a product to a large number of people, it is the ideas that PR teams promote.
PR strategies include a method of community building that allows for the target audience on social media to react and reply, thus going back-and-forth with engagement. This is a much more impactful way of reaching your audience.
All these activities build these two essential elements to a brand’s success. Loyalty and trust. Your followers establish trust in your brand due to the consistent delivery of values, ideas, and innovation. This trust serves the purpose of strengthening the overall value of your product or service. A community that trusts your brand and what it stands for will also trust what you have to offer.
Loyalty, on the other hand, is built as a result of the strong engagement methods that PR teams exercise. With a two-way communication strategy, communities feel heard and considered. Crisis communication, taking into consideration your audience’s requests and needs, and adapting to your customer’s expectations are all features that, when consistent, build loyalty for your brand. This is so because frequent response rates of PR teams secure the notion that your brand is loyal to its community, and thus loyalty will be given back.
Thought leadership is one of the most unique features that PR professionals can contribute with. The public relations industry mainly develops a brand’s image by establishing thought leaders. Whether that’s the founder, the CEO, or another important figure, that person will become the name and face of the company.
By bringing in new and innovative ideas, helping the industry itself, giving speeches, that person’s reputation is built in relation to the brand. His ideas are associated with the brand, and thus the brand’s reputation grows as well. PR makes sure that thought leaders are presented in the best light possible in order to bring a humanly feature to the company.
With the significant growth of digital PR, a company’s success is largely dependent on digital PR campaigns. They have a global reach (people across the world connect online), and can expose content on multiple platforms and in multiple shapes and forms (vlogs, podcast, social media, etc.).
SEO becomes a core feature to the PR industry, as the basics of SEO are as important as the content your PR experts will create. It is important to have the right content piece, but it is also crucial that the piece reaches as many people as possible. SEO performance depends on search engines and keywords. Crafting your content in a search engine friendly manner will secure that the largest audience will actually see your brand and its content.
Thus, the chances increase for a larger community to be built faster, loyalty gained easier, and trust strengthened to the utmost extent.
Hopefully this helped you to gain a better understanding of why PR is important and how businesses can leverage the abilities of public relations to build a solid market position - based on trust and a healthy reputation.
It is more important than ever to have a high quality PR campaign. This will make you stand out from the competitors in your industry, and dazzle your target audience with innovative ideas, firm beliefs to give and help, and a foundation built on trust and loyalty that goes both ways.
A company can be much more than just a company. That is why PR is important as it can set the difference between a mere lifeless company, and a brand that connects with its audience. PR makes that happen by establishing communication channels, providing and releasing positive content, ensuring the content reaches the target audience, and reassuring them of your brand’s values. A company will go a long way with PR as its backbone.