Public Relations is a critical element of any solid strategic communications plan and an essential aspect of a brand’s larger marketing approach. That said, there are a few times when the tools of public relations are particularly useful to deploy.
Whether you’re a large organization with huge marketing budgets or a small non-profit looking to make smart, effective marketing moves, working with a PR Agency could be the best approach. Overall though, there are key times in your marketing efforts where PR is absolutely critical and the following are five primary examples:
When You Need to Educate and Raise Awareness
Explain a product, service, or issue to an audience.
For brands or organizations looking to reach a large audience quickly, a public relations campaign can aid in educating consumers about new offerings, brand/organization values and corporate updates. The goal of a PR campaign is to expand knowledge of the brand, showcase your points of difference and to answer the question of why this product or service is critical to that audience.
It’s easier to keep loyal customers interested than earn a new customer, and media relations helps remind users of why they have fallen in love with your brand previously or why it is the news product or service they need to look into today.
When A Crisis Hits
Effectively explain a situation to media and create an open line of communication.
If you wait for a crisis to arise before you implement a PR strategy, you’re already behind. To effectively navigate a crisis, public relations can help steer the ship, drive back to company values and goals, and help clarify any misleading information.
Positive PR is the single best technique that directly resonates with consumers through positive messaging. In addition, the most successful brands and organizations create crisis communications planning scenarios and have all the steps set in advance of any major potential crisis hitting.
Utilize third-party spokesperson for unbiased opinions.
Paid, shared and owned media techniques, like advertising, company blogs, social media and sponsored content, often feature the brand voice pushing the organization’s story into the marketplace. Alternatively, with earned media, leveraging a third-party source who is potentially an expert in the industry or category adds credibility to your organization’s story and allows you to ditch public relations jargon.
It allows you to further establish the brand as a reputable and trusted business. According to a study by The Institute for Public Relations, the greatest percentage of participants indicated that they found the earned media story the most credible among the sources provided as the editorial aspect combined with using third-party spokespersons not only amplifies your brand voice but makes it believable.
For Audience Building
Efficiently reach wider audiences and tell specific stories tailored to each.
Public relations remains an important spoke on the marketing wheel as it helps create a line of communication between brands and key audiences, who inevitably drive sales. While it’s important to keep current brand loyalists happy for continued growth, it’s essential to tap into new audiences through creative media relations opportunities. Finding where key audiences are tuned in and targeting those sources help to connect with your audience where they live and build consumer trust.
Utilize PR to improve searchability through backend links and keywords.
The ever-elusive SEO is continuing to take priority in all marketing approaches. Public relations works hand-in-hand to improve SEO. Links continue to be a top-ranking element for search engines so when earned media coverage comes through that includes links and keywords, you simultaneously raise branding awareness and improve your SEO.
Public relations is one of the most efficient and effective ways to implement your marketing strategies and tell your brand’s story. When used correctly, the public relations planning process helps to build a company’s reputation, solidify their position within the industry and improve sales, all through a combination of creative storytelling and relationship building.