You hear about it all of the time. “Any PR is good PR” and “everything you say or do is public relations” are sayings that we all have become accustomed to hearing. But what about those statements is true, if anything? What does a PR team do? How does their role affect how your customers view you and your products or services? Is it really that important to have a good PR agency on your side? If you’ve ever wondered any of these questions and come up short on an answer, read on to learn more about how a public relations firm can actually change the way your customers, both present and future, perceive you and your brand. Spoiler alert: it might be more than you think!
What is Public Relations?
Let’s get back to the basics first and learn a bit more about PR, or public relations. PR is a strategy that shapes the way customers see your brand and business by exposing the good things about you, your business, and your products or services. It is an increasingly important strategy used in small businesses, particularly in St. Louis, as social media timelines become more and more flooded with exciting content. In fact, the use of PR firms has gone up so much that PR firms have grown nearly thirty percent in the last 5 years alone. PR works by utilizing a variety of tactics to share facts about your business, as well as by engaging with people directly on social media channels. PR companies also respond to media inquiries, freeing businesses like yours up to do the work you really love.
Roles of PR in Marketing
Both PR and marketing professionals have the goal of driving visibility and supporting sales efforts. However, PR is actually a component of the overall marketing team and strategy. It is because of this that it can often get forgotten in the chaos of business. However, it is an essential pillar of marketing that has been used to build brand reputation, create content, and develop customer relationships for decades. In fact, when done correctly, PR efforts support all departments of your business. Each of these responsibilities of the PR team serves a greater purpose in the total marketing approach. Let’s explore each of those responsibilities and how PR teams do them a bit further
● PR teams can help you become a thought leader in your industry in the content you put out, making your business stand out as a cutting-edge innovator.
● Having a PR team often means constant promotion via various channels, not just reactive responses to potentially negative situations.
● PR teams can help build relationships with influencers, which are arguably the most effective way to promote many products and services.
● PR teams are able to spend a significant amount of time on thoroughly creating a branding plan.
● Having a PR team can also mean reaching the right people who would be interested in your brand and developing roots in their communities.
● Content volume on all channels has never been higher; use a PR team to help your brand stand out and use next-wave technology and design to do so.
Developing Credible Relationships with Customers
● PR firms also are responsible for interacting with customers and potential customers. Whether it’s answering complaints, tweeting something funny, or thanking a customer for their purchase, PR teams make your brand personal.
● PR teams also help create a consistent voice for your clients. Consistency in how you are communicating to your customers often means increased credibility.
● PR teams can incentivize activity with the brand via giveaways, content, and more. When people know they can get something from you, as opposed to always being sold something, their trust can begin to increase.
Creating a Reputation of the Company
● PR teams make the intensity and vastness of the internet feel less. They can also lessen the potential for complaints to be blown up by nipping concerns and complaints early.
● Customers are becoming increasingly loyal to brands that they believe do good. It is no longer just enough to have good products, but it is also essential to “do good works.” PR teams can show your clients all of the good things you have done for the world and our community.
● PR teams can mitigate potentially fatal situations with the media and online. Having a developed PR team can often mean all of the differences when these unfortunate and rare situations do come up.
Maybe All PR Isn’t Good PR
Though the saying says that “all PR is good PR,” it’s maybe not quite that simple after discovering all of the things a PR firm can do for your marketing strategy and your business as a whole. From mitigating tense situations to creating a positive relationship with your customers to supporting regular content pushes, PR firms are an essential part of the way many small businesses in St. Louis thrive. If you’re ready to take the next step in hiring a PR firm to attract more customers and build out your brand, contact us at Solomon/Turner today. We’d love to hear more about your business and how we can support the great work you do already.