Having a good public relations team can make a world of difference to any business. Many people get confused about the concept of PR and the ways in which it can be beneficial to their company. PR is not advertising or marketing. Rather, it helps shape the attitude of the public toward a specific brand or company. Here are some ways that PR can be helpful to clients.
Similar to advertising, public relations can raise awareness among consumers about a particular product or service. Unlike traditional advertising, however, PR does not rely on paid ads to spread the word about a company. Instead, a good public relations team will generate “word of mouth” advertising, which relies heavily on there being ample information available about the business. PR pros do this by producing press releases, holding media events, releasing interviews with executives and enrolling the company in community service activities or charitable causes. Whether the company is a bakery or Utah tree removal service, good PR can generate more positive attention than any amount of traditional advertising.
Ideally, PR specialists make sure that consumers have a good feeling about the company and their products, which makes them more likely to become loyal customers.
Controlling the narrative and shaping public opinion
A talented public relations team is able to handle media relations in a way that shapes the narrative about a company, product or service. PR professionals get ahead of any negative news and interface with the media to put the most positive face on a particular issue. One of the first things a public relations team will do is conduct research to find out what the public thinks about the company’s message. They will then craft a narrative before approaching the media outlets to get the message out to the audience in the most effective way.
While it is impossible to control every single variable, most PR pros have good working relationships with journalists and are able to increase the chances of media exposure. Consistency is key when shaping public opinion, but constant analysis of strategy is also critical. A good public relations specialist will find an effective message and stick with it, while remaining open to the idea that they may need to revise their plan as things develop.
Focusing on the positive
The main goal of a public relations team is to maintain good relations between their client and the public. This means open and honest communication, as well as consistent messaging. Public relations pros want consumers to associate their client with positive stories and that takes a lot of planning. This means publicizing things like charitable donations, community events and recycling programs. Ultimately, public relations creates a relationship between the audience and the company. Maintaining this relationship is key to a company’s continued success.
Handling crisis situations
PR is critical when a company undergoes a crisis or scandal. This could be an advertising misstep, a data breach, workplace violence, technology failure, a recalled product or inappropriate behavior on the part of an executive. Whatever the cause, public relations specialists are called upon to help limit the damage and handle crisis management.
PR pros often plan for crises ahead of time, to ensure that they can step in quickly and seamlessly to mitigate the amount of harm the company will experience. This means crafting an appropriate response, continued monitoring of the situation, identifying the wronged parties and learning from the events. Above all, public relations specialists try to think strategically and respond thoughtfully. The goal is to avoid a negative impact on the company’s reputation and revenue.
Good public relations strategy makes for a good business. A talented PR team can build or, in some cases, rebuild a company’s relationship with the public in a way that generates more audience engagement and positive feeling. Ultimately, this leads to increased profits and a more successful business.