It is easy for people to confuse public relations with advertising because they have similar qualities. Both share the same goals: promoting a product or service and making them seem as successful, honest, important, exciting or relevant as possible. But the paths to creating awareness are vastly different. Public relations is focused on raising your company’s authority through building and maintaining relationships and managing your company’s reputation. It is “earned” media and credibility, rather than paying for brand visibility as you can do with an advertising budget. Public relations is a vital element for a business and without it, most businesses may not see the success and development they are striving for. Success of a company is based around client and customer satisfaction. If your customers are not happy with your products or services, then your company will not be a reliable source for future customers either. In order to build an image of trust with the public, you need public relations. Listed below are five reasons why it is necessary for your business to implement a public relations strategy.
Maintaining Your Brand Reputation
A business is nothing without a brand to represent what they are all about. Brands encompass who the company is and what their values are. It is the lasting impression from all that is seen, heard, or experienced by customers who come into contact with your company, so it is important to be sure that your business is maintaining its brand reputation. Public relations takes your business's brand and tells a story with it. The better the story, the better the acceptance by the public. Once your brand resonates with the public, your business will begin to develop a group of customers. In order for a business to keep these customers and earn new ones, they must constantly maintain the brand’s reputation. A brand and a story go hand-in-hand and although there are many factors that go into building a brand, public relations is a necessary component if you want to bring your brand to life through messaging and stakeholder engagement.
It is hard for a company to prepare ahead of time for a crisis, and have a plan in place for when one occurs. When the unfortunate event of a crisis occurs, and it very well could, steps need to be in place to ensure that the public relations team can handle this situation smoothly and effectively. When an issue arises within your company, it is easy for the media to get their hands on any information regarding the crisis. This may cause you to lose clients because they do not trust your business any longer. With a public relations team, your business can take control of the situation as soon as possible and transform any negatives surround your company into positives. Issues always arise in a business, and these issues can later turn into a full blown crisis if not handled correctly, so it is important to have a public relations team who can prepare for any mishaps that might tarnish your brand, and have a plan ready.
Building Lasting Relationships With Key Stakeholders
The heart of public relations is building and maintaining lasting and mutually beneficial relationships. This is one of, if not the most important factor in having a great business. Public relations means setting up and nurturing ongoing relationships with many important stakeholders including: customers, clients, influencers/ambassadors, employees, management and any other relevant individual. These relationships need to be maintained, you need to gain their initial attention, and then be able to keep them involved and engaged. While everyone wants to keep close relationships, public relations practitioners are in the profession of preserving these relationships to ensure long term success. The success or failure of an organization can be determined by the relationships it keeps with its key public and stakeholders. Trying to take take this on by yourself can be overwhelming, since there are so many other factors that go into running a successful business. This is why it is best to have a public relations team to help you. Regardless of the industry your organization is in, having relationships will be necessary when building your image and brand.
Enhancing Online Presence
In this day and age technology is at its forefront, so it is important for your business to remain up to date with the latest social networks. Not only can public relations provide today’s businesses with the support and guidance they need to market themselves online, but can also help you with engagement through social platforms, keeping your clients and customers in the know and providing appropriate and on-brand messaging. Your online brand is your company’s lifeline and it important to dedicate detailed attention to how your company is perceived on the internet. Through social media, press releases and connections with promotional sites that publish content (blogs, YouTube channels, etc.), public relations can help clients to achieve incredible things and overcome the roadblocks that might stop them from accessing success.
At Inner Spark Creative, we can help you deliver compelling, insightful and effective communications campaigns to form relationships and build credibility. We don’t view things through rose colored glasses, but instead we approach from every angle and every possible perspective. Our role is to help you maintain your brands reputation. Through our effective communication we can promote goodwill and positive dialog between your company and your stakeholders.