Public relations (PR) has always been a major marketing tool but in this day and age of ubiquitous connectivity, it is no less than a necessity. According to the Demand Gen Report, 96% of B2B buyers are seeking more content from industry leaders. Hubspot, meanwhile, notes that 247% of millennials make decisions based on content viewed on social media sites and blogs. Companies are generally advised to set aside around 10% of their budget for marketing purposes, and PR falls within this budget. Bearing in mind the vast importance of content in online communications and brand building, having an experienced, skilled PR professional taking charge of your communications and press relations is key if you are to successfully captivate with your target market and communicate with them in a way they understand.
PR and Social Listening
The rapidity of the Internet means that businesses have to be very much on the ball when it comes to dealing with crises. As noted by Mentionlytics, about 30% of all company crises reach viral status in a matter of minutes. Vitispr.com reminds companies of how important PR professionals are when it comes to combing through social media sites and using big data to find crises and nip them in the bud. Clients who complain, for instance, can be quickly attended to before they create a viral complaint.
PR and Brand Identity
Your PR team can boost business value by playing an important role in establishing your brand’s ethos and message. Social media posts, blogs, and press releases all need to be written in the inimitable style that marks your company. An on-the-ball team will be able to pick the right video content, write articles that will establish your brand as a leader, and connect with influencers and thought leaders, suggesting collaborations, interviews for blog posts, and the like, and organising PR events to raise awareness about your brand.
PR and Media Relationships
Whether you are a hotel group, trendy restaurant, or fashion store, chances are, the media will be in touch with you if you are selling something of potential interest to their readers. Your PR staff can do more than attend to media inquiries and requests for information and photography; they can build stronger relationships with journalists by sending them press releases, giving them a call, or asking to meet for possible coverage in their publications about your business. Trade-offs of products and services can be made for coverage, with a view to building a long-term relationship that will be beneficial to both. Once a friendship exists, it is very easy to give your media partners a call every time a new service or product is launched.
Seasoned PR professionals will have more than one client or will have an impressive portfolio that shows they are well connected to movers and shakers in your industry. They are on trend when it comes to style and design and they will ensure that aspects such as company communications, logo, and branding material are on point. Counting on PR allows a company to avoid resting on past successes and allowing other, more relevant companies to take over.
Your company should be perceived as an innovator and PR can help you do this. From staying in touch with changing customer demands to putting out online fires, they are are a crucial component of any business, especially in this content-driven world. You may have a talented writer or communicator in your office and if so, there is no reason why they cannot exercise these skills to full effect. However, if they can work alongside PR professionals, all the better, since PR involves the use of analytics, consistent research, and ‘soft communication’ with the medea – things that together create a job unto itself.