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11 Reasons Why Public Relations is Needed for Every Business Size
Guest Blog Post by Freelance Writer Ashley Neilsen
Many entrepreneurs make the mistake of believing public relations is only for large corporations. These companies don’t want to allocate any marketing budget to managing their relationships with the public because they think it won’t directly affect their sales. Unfortunately, these companies are missing out on the opportunity to build better relationships and establish themselves as thought leaders in their industry.
Public relations isn’t a luxury for the richest corporations; no matter its size, every business can benefit from a robust public relations strategy that can boost brand awareness and help foster trust between customers and companies. While many businesses believe PR is about forming relationships with the media, it goes beyond that to enable better relationships with the public. Here are a few reasons why public relations is needed for every business size:
1. Helps Establish Stakeholder Relationships
Public relations is about relationship building inside and outside of the company. If your business succeeds, you must cultivate internal relationships between stakeholders. PR strategies focusing on authenticity can help you establish these relationships within your industry to keep all stakeholders on the same page.
2. Boosts Brand Awareness
Public relations helps boost brand awareness because it allows you to connect with your audience and create content to foster that trust. You can tell your brand story through public methods instead of paying for advertising with PR. With PR, you can connect your key brand messages through traditional media, social media, email marketing, speaking engagements, and special events.
3. Save On Ad Spend
Public relations doesn’t rely on an ad purchasing strategy; instead, your PR team will work to build relationships with relevant media contacts to pitch stories about your brand. As a result, PR helps boost brand awareness without ads, building credibility to make you look more established to your customers.
4. Builds Trust
We’ve already mentioned how PR builds trust, but let’s dive a little deeper. Trust is a critical element of your in-person and online interactions. Consumers are growing increasingly mistrustful of brands, but by effectively telling your story authentically, you can start to build trust with your intended audience. Brand mentions in trusted publications can help your company appear more trustworthy. PR teams can help you differentiate your brand on various mediums, including online outlets, influencer marketing, and print.
5. Third-Party Validation
PR is an effective way to build and maintain a positive reputation. It may also benefit companies with poor reputations because it can build trust. Third-party validation can occur through owned and shared media, but earned media is the best way to build your reputation because consumers trust reporters and influencers more than they trust brands. In addition, earned media allows you to become part of a story, giving you third-party validation through which your customers can learn more about your products or services.
One of the best ways to build trust is through credibility. Building your credibility to establish your expertise through earned media placements can help you gain exposure while building your brand reputation. For example, earned media should be shared across all your platforms, including social media and your website, to establish yourself as a trusted expert in your field.
7. Low Cost
We’ve already mentioned that with PR, you don’t need to spend additional marketing budgets on ads, but PR is also relatively low cost compared to other marketing initiatives. Small businesses must monitor their spending, so your budget must go a long way. Building a list of media contacts and getting journalists to write about your brand doesn’t cost any money. However, if you hire a PR firm, you’ll likely pay a retainer fee to ensure your brand gets featured in various media. By performing public relations initiatives, you can continue to build your brand and credibility, which is more affordable than purchasing advertisements that don’t build trust.
8. Prevents Problems
PR is necessary for any business that wants to manage its online and offline reputation. Businesses of all sizes rely on word-of-mouth, and since reviews are posted online every day, you don’t want your unhappy customers complaining to new potential clients about bad experiences online. Upset customers can spread bad publicity that affects your sales and reputation, making it difficult to recover. Everything from scandals to lawsuits must be handled professionally as soon as possible, so it’s important to monitor what’s being said about your business, especially online. A robust PR strategy will involve reputation management, addressing potential concerns and issues your customers may have to help keep them happy even after an issue.
9. Enhances Online Presence
PR isn’t a standalone strategy; it should be integrated with your complete marketing strategy to ensure it’s being properly utilized. Even brick-and-mortar businesses have an online presence through social media, their website, and digital ads. PR can enhance all these efforts by increasing your visibility online to get you in front of your target audience. In addition, many agencies offer support to help businesses better market themselves online while preparing them for when disaster strikes and something threatens to destroy their reputation.
10. Attracts Top Talent
Many businesses focus on how PR can improve their business goals by increasing sales. However, PR also has many internal benefits. A quality PR department can help you attract talent to your company because it keeps people engaged. The more you’re mentioned in publications, the better your brand awareness and visibility, attracting top talent who want to work for a well-known business. In addition, PR helps you build a positive reputation for your business, attracting employees based on your brand values.
11. Can Help You Keep Up With Trends
PR can help you learn about trends in your industry because it employs several strategies to learn about your competition and market. Combined with social media, public relations offers you thousands of blogs and guest posting opportunities to learn about industry trends and comment on them, allowing you to adapt to these changes and communicate new information with your customers and the public.
Public relations isn’t just for large businesses; all businesses must maintain a positive brand image and keep themselves in the conversation. You can build relationships with journalists and writers through public relations to help you establish yourself in the industry, improving trust and boosting sales.
Ashley Nielsen earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration Marketing at Point Loma Nazarene University. She is a freelance writer where she shares knowledge about general business, marketing, lifestyle, wellness, and financial tips. During her free time, she enjoys being outside, staying active, reading a book, or diving deep into her favorite music.