“A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front-page ad” – Richard Branson
PR is not advertising. PR is all about storytelling. While everyone seems to know the term PR or public relations, not everyone understands what it means and what it involves, so PR often falls low on the list of priorities.
So, what is PR and why does your business need it?
Public relations has been around for almost 100 years. In 1906, American publicity expert Ivy Lee distributed what is considered to be the first press release, after persuading a client to disclose information about an accident before reporters received other versions from elsewhere. Lee’s idea worked like magic.
According to the Chartered Institute (CIPR) PR is defined as the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and society. In other words, PR is your opportunity to tell your story, your way.
Businesses big and small benefit from getting their stories ‘out there’ - here are six reasons to get involved.
1. We know you are trustworthy, but your audience don’t
Credibility is an asset that all companies desire, but it doesn’t just happen overnight. In order to gain trust, you have to put some groundwork in first. PR secures positive media coverage and gets you in front of the right people, helping to build a company’s reputation as a trusted expert in its industry. Did you know that PR is almost 90% more effective than advertising at establishing, building and protecting credibility?
2. Make friends
There is more to PR than just spreading the word about your news. It’s about connecting with your ideal audience in a way that is informative and engaging. Helping people to understand your message will enable your organisation to build trust with the people that matter.
3. Win more clients
If you are featured positively in targeted media frequently, the more visible your product or service. If you were looking to invest in a new accounting system, you do your research, read reviews in reputable business publications and are therefore more likely to purchase a brand that you can identify with. The more you are spoken about the better informed your audience are, creating a buzz that will help to convert prospects into customers.
4. Be transparent
Let’s be clear, customers want to instantly know how you can help them, they don’t want to spend time trying to figure it out. Clear communication is vital. In order to get people excited about your brand, they need to understand it and be recognisable. Strong branding creates trust between you and your customers, increasing brand loyalty as well as value.
5. Become a thought leader
Thought leadership is a proven and powerful way to present and reinforce ideas and viewpoints that build trust in an organisation. Interviews, speeches and opinion pieces for publications are all PR strategies used to help gain public acceptance, support and positions the organisation as an expert in its industry.
6. Be the company everyone wants to work for
Yes, PR is mainly used to promote company news but when it is leveraged effectively, PR can also be used to attract prospective employees too. When researching a new company, the first thing we do is Google it. So, along with the positive press, PR helps to ensure that your online content and social platforms are current and on point with messaging.
What does a good PR campaign look like?
Leading UK-based aggregator of demand-side response and smart grid services KiWi Power came to us when there was an opportunity to increase its presence and market share in the UK. Find out how our plan of action gained KiWi Power national press coverage and greater brand recognition.
If you need a hand launching your own PR strategy or would simply like to find out more about our approach to public relations, we would love to hear from you.