Public relations as a business growth tactic has always had its doubters, and the main reason behind this is it can be difficult to accurately measure the success of a campaign. However, executed professionally and efficiently, PR can really help to contribute to your business’ bottom line and can accelerate your progress towards achieving business goals.
We explore some of the key ways in which PR can have a positive impact on not just your brand awareness efforts, but tangible business growth.
Shaping your image
If you put your trust in PR professionals, they can create company messaging that defines who you are, what you do and how you are different to your competitors. It's important to eliminate inconsistency and make sure the messaging prevents confusion. When everyone within your company, from sales teams to the PR professionals, is singing from the same song sheet, it will build a strong brand image and contribute to your conversion rates.
In addition, a PR company will help you shape contingency plans in case a crisis arises, and this can save your company from a very uncertain future. Public relations activity can help to manage any issues that arise in the public eye to reduce reputational damage, subsequently protecting your bottom line if things go awry. This starts by positioning your brand in the best possible light in the eyes of potential and existing consumers, in order to attract new and returning business.
Increasing credibility & authority
Unlike direct marketing and advertising, PR-generated coverage is earned and therefore doesn’t require money to place sales-focused messaging in front of your target audience. If your PR campaign secures this ‘earned’ media coverage, it’s because journalists recognize the value in sharing your story. This lends a certain sense of credibility and respect to your brand, because it’s written as an editorial topic on a piece relevant to your business.
Professionals in the PR industry know how to craft and adapt a business angle into something that is newsworthy and will lead to coverage. This more subtle, less promotional approach of PR can often be more readily accepted by consumers than in-your-face ads; meaning the message is less likely to be ignored and they’re more likely to listen up to what your business offers.
In the same way, increased media coverage brings more exposure and business success, giving your business a greater chance of winning industry awards. Being nominated for an award – and certainly winning one – gives your business a higher trust factor and more credibility, which attracts new customers and improves your bottom line.
Attracting and engaging with customers
PR as a marketing tool is great for attracting new customers, as you can easily reach new audiences through coverage in popular news outlets. However, attracting new audiences isn’t the only benefit of running a PR campaign; PR activity will keep your brand in the limelight and fresh in current customers' minds. It will remind them of your successes and reasons why they should continue to be a customer of yours.
Utilising social media in the right way is essentially a golden ticket to success. Social media is the best way to get across the personality of your brand and set the tone of your business. PR often works hand-in-hand with social media activity, because campaigns can be adapted to become cross-platform for a more holistic approach.
These platforms are where people go for fun or to hear about breaking news, and with the former in mind, it's important to make your content engaging, which in turn will drive more sales. Consumers are curious, and if they start to see your product and services pop up on their timeline often, they will be very likely to seek out further information.
These are just some of the key ways in which you should expect PR to deliver those all-important results to your bottom line. With a well-executed and efficient PR campaign, the possibilities are endless in terms of the impact on the success and growth of your business.
About the Author
Andy Barr is the managing director and founder of 10 Yetis Digital. He has worked in the industry for 20 years and speaks around the world about topics such as social media, PR, video, SEO and marketing. Prior to launching 10 Yetis 14 years ago, Andy worked in-house for the likes of Axa, Unilever, First Group and Whitbread.