The benefits of a strong public relations (PR) strategy far outweighs complacency and praying for free publicity when the opportunity arises. A goal-driven and deliberate strategy can set you years ahead of your competition’s reputation and sales. Unfortunately, PR is notorious for being misunderstood and neglected but, when optimised, companies can reach some serious new heights.
PR, digital marketing and brand management are all different cogs in one machine. The difference is that PR can vastly contribute to your brand development in online marketing and brand management efforts as well as perceptions about your brand. PR is the business of persuasion and persuading people to resonate with your brand is done via excellent PR.
Just as in brand management and digital marketing, you want to keep a high profile in your PR efforts. The difference between these efforts is that by using PR you get free or low-cost exposure via publicity if you are actively seeking out events where different media are present. It is the difference between paying thousands for a television ad or simply being present at a televised expo in your industry and scoring a free interview. A good PR strategy will diarise these events to exploit the PR opportunities.
Planning for a crisis before it even happened gives you the upper hand to protect your company’s reputation. A PR strategy should contain at least a basic crisis management plan for company mistakes or occurrences that are out of management’s control. Though crisis management is an uncomfortable topic, having the skills to address these crises is crucial. It leaves you prepared to address your stakeholders and potential media enquiries and rectify the problem to protect the brand.
Having a large network with key, non-competitive role-players can assist in various departments of your company. Planning an event to promote your unique selling point? Use your network to invite key people and influencers. Planning on expanding your workforce and hiring the best personnel in the industry? Use your network to source the best recruits available by asking for referrals. A PR strategy will allow you to expand your network and foster mutually beneficial relationships.
People are almost always in for a good (but true!) story and PR gives companies the platform to share their narratives. By sharing newsworthy developments about the company, it may resonate with stakeholders and stay relevant without spending much money. A newsworthy product launch or philanthropy effort to inspire the masses are great ways to keep the company on everyone’s lips.
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