Is Public Relations essential for businesses of every size?
Am I ready for Public Relations at this point of my business?
These two questions are the most commonly asked when we speak to entrepreneurs and business owners.
Building a business requires more elbow grease than it used to before. Brick and mortar shops are becoming less and less viable, mainly because of the global pandemic.
While the less said about COVID-19, the better, if 2020 has ever taught us anything, it is that being able to adapt to situations and challenges is critical for survival.
Digitisation is an integral aspect, many are racing to establish, but with so many SMEs racing to survive, how to make your business stand out among the rest?
Many businesses become sustainable and successful with an established brand name. With that in hand, household names can begin to worry less, but this does not mean that you should take your feet off the pedal.
To do so, your business needs that push to rise above others. But just exactly how do you do it?
In order to create a solid, lasting reputation and to build on your marketing strategies is by doing Public Relations. Public relations, in layman’s terms, is about garnering interest and turning them into positive views.
PR agencies work with companies and organisations in building their image in your respective industry.
When used correctly, PR can change your business’s future and gives you the power to overcome any hurdles that may sprout along the way. Here are five reasons why you need PR for your business.
1. PR demonstrates your brand’s expertise
Firstly, PR demonstrates your brand’s expertise. Consumers of the world nowadays trust brands that are knowledgeable about the industry. They want the best, and the best can only be obtained by those who are established. By positioning your brand as a thought leader in your industry, you are able to demonstrate to your target audience that not only can you talk the talk, but you walk the walk as well. With deep expertise and thorough knowledge of the media landscape, the right PR company can establish your position in the market, and make a massive difference in getting your story out.
The best example of a thought leader would be Elon Musk. He is knowledgeable in the industry of electric vehicles. He often shares what is going on with Tesla, his electric vehicle company, on Twitter. Not only that, he keeps sharing his thoughts on how Tesla will be the vehicle of the future by tackling issues such as reducing fossil fuel usage. He is a thought leader because he is already a notable expert.
2. PR helps you build relationships.
PR is all about building trust and delivering values by establishing lasting relationships and generating goodwill. In order to build meaningful relationships, what PR agencies rely on is campaigns. PR campaigns can be immensely useful in forming critical connections with your target audience. This is done in the form of media outreach (utilising press releases and/or media pitches), via social media platforms with the help of Key Opinion Leaders (KOLs), or even in-person events. There are so many ways you can skin a cat, but finding the right way requires experience.
There are many reasons why consumers would start buying a product. It could be because it is the most colourful, has the best design, the best quality, or it is the cheapest in the market. But the reason consumers continuously and consistently buy a certain product is because of the connection they have with the brand, alongside a high level of trust towards brands that they have built a relationship with and identify with. With SMEs and startup markets being one of the most competitive and challenging industries, it stands to reason that the brand that has successfully cultivated the most meaningful relationships and the highest level of trust holds the trump card.
3. PR strategies prevent future problems.
As public perception and government policy interchange wildly, a sound PR strategy can not only help your brand stay relevant to your target audience but also be at the forefront of industry conversations. No brand ever wants a bad press, but some negative feedback is bound to pop up sooner or later. While it can take many forms, such as a disgruntled customer venting onto social media or a lawsuit by a former employee. These incidents can gather steam and potentially derail your brand into oblivion.
Nonetheless, you can’t predict nor prevent this from occurring. However, you can mitigate the damage it may bring with the right preparation and response strategies in place. We ensure that timely, trendy and accurate information being shared is relevant across all channels with PR.
PosLaju’s PR fiasco in 2020 occurred when the brand came under fire due to word coming out that employees were not given their bonuses on top of their minuscule salaries. Despite being overworked during the Movement Control Order, dispatch riders were not given their fair share. Making matters worse, PosLaju failed to effectively respond to the issue, turning this into a full-blown crisis that was met with further discontent by users.
Taking lessons from this, a proactive approach via PR can help smooth the seas in crises, by observing and keeping a keen eye on current issues and trends across multiple channels, from news portals or social media platforms.
4. For small businesses, PR is more cost advantageous
Advertising can be costly. While both PR and Advertising have their merits, advertising is far more expensive through newspaper or billboards. Traditionally, your brand’s visibility relies heavily on how much you are willing to spend your outreach efforts. PR is far more cost-effective in giving your brand a much wider reach when compared to most. This is because organic buzz and word-of-mouth influence a higher number of potential customers to visit your brand or business than advertising. Simply put, PR is more bang for your buck.
The reasoning behind this is because consumers tend to filter out information they deemed to be unnecessary, or irrelevant as they go about their lives. There are so many billboards and ads on the highways on your daily commute that your mind virtually ignores it.
While these work in their own way, building your reputation and renown requires trust. When your brand is being talked about by journalists through compelling write-ups or consumers being blown away by your product’s effectiveness, your brand grows. By getting others to highlight your brand in a positive light constantly speaks volumes about the recognition you are obtaining. Undoubtedly, this results in an exponential growth of trust among your target audience.
- Great PR tells amazing stories
Part of what makes PR so effective is that we tell stories. Stories, in turn, generate a lasting impression and build trust. While the journey in building your brand may seem a never-ending process at first, the end result is definitely worth it. As your brand visibility grows, so too does your audience base. In this ever-changing world, consumers look for brands with an impactful story that leaves a lasting impression. A well-crafted story that makes your brand stand out, featuring something that your customer base could identify with could go a long way.
PR is about strategic communication. By effectively communicating with your potential customers, your business can go a long way.
Here’s a summary of the 5 reasons of why you need PR:
- PR demonstrates your brand’s credibility
- PR helps you build relationships
- PR strategies prevent future problems
- PR is cost effective for small businesses
- Great PR tells amazing stories
Are you ready to know more?
If you have read until this point, we’re pretty sure we owe you a free consultation on PR efforts. At Elliot & Co, we’ve helped over 500 startups and SMEs in getting featured on top media sites. Talk to us and let us figure out how you can become our next success story!