Not every company needs public relations (PR) – but yours might. To make this call, you need to understand what PR can accomplish for your brand, and then evaluate the needs of your company against this. While the main function of PR is to build and maintain a company’s reputation through positive media coverage, a strong PR strategy can contribute to business success in many other ways too. Here are four reasons why your company could do with some good PR:
PR builds brand credibility
Earned publicity – through word-of-mouth, customer testimonials or media coverage – is more trusted than advertising. If your target audience hears about your brand from their favourite radio presenter, or reads about you in their newspaper over breakfast, they’ll be more inclined to form a positive association, because it comes from a reliable source. This type of publicity is also useful to position company spokespeople as experts in their field – if it looks like journalists are coming to you for an opinion, the public will believe that you are a credible source in your own right.
PR increases your online presence
Unlike traditional media, online media doesn’t have a shelf life. News articles remain visible on search engines indefinitely. This means any PR content you create can gain more value as it lives on. In terms of search engine optimisation (SEO), other news outlets, bloggers and even customers may link and share your media coverage. By sharing timely and relevant stories across earned, owned and shared channels, you will keep your business high up in search engine rankings, which will, in turn, encourage more customers to get in contact.
PR makes a positive impact
If your company is looking beyond profit margins and ROI, towards making a positive social change by creating awareness around an important issue, PR is the ultimate tool. For example, student accommodation group STAG African uses their platform to raise awareness around the student housing crisis in South Africa and the impact this has on student success. By distributing press releases and securing broadcast interviews, PR can assist your company with adding its voice to important conversations – or you can kickstart the conversation in the first place.
PR gets you more bang for your buck
If your company doesn’t have the resources for a huge advertising budget, PR can offer a more affordable way to create brand awareness – with the added benefit of building trust and credibility. Versus a paid-for page of advertising in a single publication, a well-written press release could be published multiple times, across multiples platforms, without any additional cost.
PR is the easiest, most effective way to get your name out there. It ensures credibility, a positive brand image and a sustained online presence in an affordable way. If one of your goals to be considered an industry leader, then your company could use some good PR.