As an entrepreneur, you’ve probably heard the word “public relations or PR,” but it’s possible that you don’t fully understand what it means in terms of your marketing plan. Larger businesses and corporations use PR agencies with connections to publishers and journalists in addition to having PR departments within the company.
So what distinguishes PR from advertising? Traditionally, advertising has taken the form of sponsored advertisements on television, in newspapers, and in other printed materials like posters and pamphlets, as well as, more recently, on social media. In contrast, PR focuses more on garnering media attention by identifying a niche and then crafting a compelling story that will appeal to journalists and satisfy their insatiable appetite for new material.
In addition to your product and services and how your company is viewed through different forms of publicity, PR is also related to your public image. These days, social media platforms play a big part in your public relations (PR) and brand image. However, don’t mix paid social media advertising with your total public image.
PR is a crucial component of managing your brand since the impression you project and the way you are viewed can either make or ruin a business. There are three main ways that PR can affect how the general public views your company, which will ultimately affect your sales and lead generation.
Helps in developing a unique brand identity
Your company’s “brand identity,” which includes your values and communication style with the public, is the character you give it. If you intend to create a PR plan that will strengthen your brand identification, it is critical to have a clear grasp of your unique selling point and how you would like your services or goods to be seen. It’s important to keep your message the same across all of your communication channels, and good PR will help people recognize your brand on different platforms and in different markets.
Builds community and increases trust
Building relationships with clients is a major function of PR. Your database, sales, and reputation will all rise as a result of creating a strong fan base. The level of interaction you have with your audience depends on how you interact with the public, particularly in the open environment of social media, which is full of trolls and bad commentary. Maintaining your morals and principles will create a trustworthy environment that will foster community development.
Builds more credibility than advertising
Cynicism and distrust have always been present in the advertising industry. Most people agree that companies will “say anything to promote a product.” However, PR fosters a “word of mouth” culture, and reputations are developed based on what people say about you, rather than what your company says about itself. Your company’s reputation will increase more quickly than that of a rival who hasn’t built a solid brand identification or reliable connections with the local community if you can discover clients, journalists, and media sources who are passionate about what you do.
So what are a few effective tools and techniques you may employ to build excellent PR for your company?
We’ve already talked about how cultivating a “word of mouth” culture might help you improve your public image. Your company can establish itself as the “go-to” authority in your sector by developing positive working relationships with media and publication editors. If you are fortunate enough to build these ties, make sure to always take care of them and make them stronger.
Another tactic you may employ to generate positive PR, particularly in the social media sphere, is video marketing. The video develops a relationship with your target audience and lets your community see you “as you are.” Make sure the videos are shot at a professional level, even though your sincerity must come through. The impression that your videos convey is significant in this digital age. You risk alienating some of your desired audience if you come out as an “amateur.” Always check the image as well as sound quality, even if it’s simply a “Facebook Live” production, which could mean an “outdoor” one.
A further strategy for establishing relationships with your target market and intended community is to host events, either locally or online. Everyone likes parties, so throwing one or putting out a new product or service will bring people together in a good way. This could help you finally connect with the group you’ve been trying to reach.
We at Creative Raven offer clients a wealth of experience in municipal sector PR as well as strong media relationships, to help clients build strategies that help them gain favorable exposure and intensify the authenticity of their products or services. Our team has written feature articles for our clients that have been published in both U.S. and international magazines.