First of all, you might be asking yourself, what actually is PR?
Well, according to the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR), PR is the planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics.
Every business, individual or organisation, no matter how large or small, ultimately depends on its reputation for survival and success, and therefore, positive PR is vital.
We’ve put together our five top reasons as to why you need to invest in your public relations.
1. Story telling
No matter what your business is, there are stories to tell. Stories can make you laugh, cry and buy – and the art of brand story telling should do just that. PR is all about telling a story that will bring your brand’s message to life. A company that are exceptionally good at this, is John Lewis. Everyone has seen their memorable Christmas adverts and they are remarkable at telling a good story. Stories allow companies to better connect with their customers and ultimately arouse the audience's feelings, ideas, and attitudes to align with their company aspirations.
2. Building credibility
A clear public relations strategy produces clarity about a business’ key messages and its brand values, and therefore boosts your organisation’s credibility. Those companies, or individuals who have a clear strategy, and stick to it, are reiterating the same story and message to their customers, therefore, building on the credibility of the brand. However, you cannot build credibility in a day, but there are strategies you can adopt to lay a strong foundation of trust and develop a solid reputation, using PR tools and techniques.
3. Attracting investors
Many organisations forget that potential investors of your brand are finding out about you through your marketing and PR. You might be asking, ‘am I looking for investors’? The simple answer is yes, every new customer is investing in your business. If potential investors don’t hear about you, if they don’t know that you exist, how likely do you think it is that they will invest in your company? Nada. It makes complete sense, if you want someone to invest in your business then you need to ensure they are hearing about the work you do – it’s that simple.
4. Generate new business leads
A strong and effective PR strategy can improve your business outcomes by generating new leads for your organisation. The more media coverage you receive, the more visible you become to potential customers. The more opportunities your audience has to see news about your business, the more informed they are – and the more informed they are, the more likely they are to buy your products or invest in your services.
5. More than just promotion
PR and advertising are often mistaken for being the same thing. However, this is so not the case. Advertising is creating a paid announcement to be promoted through various forms of media. PR on the other hand, is a strategic communication that builds relationships between your brand, and the public. Your customers are much more likely to take note of something written in an article, rather than an advertisement that has been paid for.
However, the most powerful method of communication is when advertising and PR are used together, to form a strategic integrated communication campaign.