Public relations is an important aspect of any company, because it is the toolkit businesses use to tailor public perception in their favor. PR is largely associated with responding to scandals and backlash, but there’s more to the story of what PR firms can do for your business. Here’s what you need to know about public relations.
The right spokesperson can make your company relatable
When you see Dr. Steven Gundry speaking to the health benefits of Vital Reds, for example, that is a spokesperson performing public relations. The purpose of a spokesperson is fairly simple; they give your brand a friendly face. Many companies use mascots to accomplish a similar goal. People are social creatures, so it can engender a sense of camaraderie to give consumers a human being to become familiar with instead of the usual disembodied voices you often hear, but don’t see, in advertisements. In some cases, a business’s spokesperson is its founder, such as in the case of the late Dave Thomas, the founder of Wendy’s, but the late Billy Mays is well known as the spokesperson of OxiClean despite having no other connection to the product or brand. In both cases, however, these men have become iconic representations of their brands by endearing themselves to the public.
Market research informs marketing and business strategies
One of the most important parts of public relations is market research. Various data sets that are integral to the planning of business operations and marketing campaigns are derived from market research such as consumer surveys, and PR agencies are responsible for this kind of research. Information like demographics is incredibly valuable to a business because of its ability to guide a business in the right direction, and it falls to PR professionals to get that data into the hands of business owners.
PR firms speak on the company’s behalf
Press releases serve as a direct declaration of a company’s intent, and they serve a variety of purposes. As the name implies, this public relations technique entails sending written statements to press outlets, and these releases typically announce new products and services. They are often closely associated with the formal responses of companies to public outcry, as well. This is perhaps what makes them so valuable. They can be used in a manner similar to traditional advertising, but they can also be used to address controversy or to attempt to unite people behind a cause or a celebration.
PR agencies handle celebrity and influencer partnerships
Businesses often lean on celebrities and influencers to market their products. In much the same way that a spokesperson can personify a brand, celebrity endorsements can give your brand a human element that gets consumers excited about what it is you’re selling. However, partnering with celebrities can be complicated, and it can potentially go south in a hurry without experienced PR professionals orchestrating your interactions with these larger than life personalities. PR agencies can help you keep track of contracts and catering requests, for example, when you have an influencer on hand for an advertisement shoot.
PR agents can coordinate public events
Companies often depend on their PR teams to handle the planning and execution of public events. These events can drum up excitement for your business by unveiling products, for example, but there’s a lot that goes into events like these, and PR firms can expertly organize these events. The reason for this is fairly simple; organizing a public event requires many of the same skills and connections as other PR endeavors such as communicating with the press or arranging celebrity appearances.
Your PR team is an invaluable asset. They can help you build your business model from the ground up by providing essential market data, and they can help you build professional partnerships with celebrities and other businesses. They can, and often do, help businesses save face in the event of a controversy. Experts in the field of public relations are indispensable for business, because they give you the tools you need to conquer the social aspect of commerce.