Why you need PR for your brand
You might have been running your business for years and you still don’t understand why you need the public relations services. Or you want to hire a PR professional but you really do not know what s/he would offer you. After reading this article, you will understand why you need one and what you need PR for. Quick reminder: don’t forget that there are bigger brands you would always aspire to measure up with and there is a big picture of your business you always see every morning at your office. These big brands budget for PR like they do for other units of the company. To achieve your big picture, PR is effectively inevitable.
Someone asked me; “do you think PR is necessary since I have a result-driven marketing team?” I looked into his eyes and said; “you wouldn’t need PR until there is a crisis your marketing team won’t be able to solve.”
Why do people think about PR when the brand is in trouble and pay little or no attention to it when everything is going fine in the company? It is because neither marketing nor advertising can solve crises either within the organization or the external public. Thanks to PR in the area of managing and crises resolutions but crisis management is not the only core duty of public relations. In actuality, PR activities are more expensive during a crisis than when there is no crisis. When there is an active PR unit in your organization, the crisis could be prevented and peradventure it happens, it would be easily curtailed before it escalates.
Sad to say, people have reduced PR to social media influencing. Brands prefer to engage influencers than to engage the service of a PR professional. Social media influencers are just a tool for PR. It is the responsibility of a PR professional to determine whether and why social media influencers should be used for any campaign or certain PR activities. It is not correct to refer to those who make money through the high number of fanbases or followers they have as PR practitioners. They are not. They are just influencers. That is not what PR basically means.
Your Brand and PR
The activities of PR in your brand are not limited to the crisis period. PR will solidify your relationship with your clients. Let me make it simple. Imagine a middleman, standing in-between you and someone for something. That is PR! PR will serve as that middleman between your brand and the public. The activities exist between your organization and its public for a mutual relationship that will earn client loyalty and trust. Don’t forget that what gives your brand long-term patronages is the kind of opinion your clients have about you and the services, product, or ideas. This opinion your clients have about you is a PR effort, whether bad or good. Whether you have a PR unit in your organization or not, there would still exist some PR activities.
The Presence and Absence of PR in an organization
Every business in the world, regardless of size, relates to its clients and customers. The satisfaction of this relationship depends on the core aims and objectives of the business. Some businesses feel comfortable with the growth of their business without vast attention to increasing competition. This is one of the key areas the PR unit will pay attention to – competitive analysis. Let’s consider a comprehensive illustration below:
A company that specializes in detergent production, distributing within a particular region of 5million people. If there are just two brands of detergent in the region, the market will be shared between the two. Obviously, one brand will have more patronage than the other. Would you not prefer your brand to be the most patronized? That is what PR will do for the brand. Yes, marketing will help drive sales but PR will sustain market loyalty and trust. Imagine after 2 years, three other brands of detergent flood the region, that means you are in trouble!
Don’t forget, you have a market population of 5million. Initially, you and one other brand share that population, now, five brands have to share it. This could automatically drop your patronage, regardless of your marketing techniques because you can only produce detergent, not people.
In the case of an increase in competitors in the market, what sustains brands at the top list is effective PR. Haven’t you read/heard/seen new competitors quitting a market because of the heavy PR of other competitors in the market? Some old brands quit the market for new brands and vice versa. You wouldn’t want to be the quitter!
As illustrated above, when PR is absent in an organization, quitting is inevitable because the market loyalty it was getting before could be a result of lack of competition which left the public with no option. As soon as options come and it is better, they switch brands immediately. But in the case of active PR in the organization, public relationships with the brand would have a kind of loyalty competitors would struggle to buy in 20years.
PR has a long-term deliberate and promising effort of sustaining brands in the market among competitors. Hiring a public relations professional when competitors are heavily taking the market could be expensive because the activity is to repair a declining brand image in the public.
In conclusion, PR will engage your internal publics (employees) because they hold a vital stake in the image of the brands. And engaging the external public (clients and customers) to earn loyalty and trust for the brand. Other relationships with the media, the community of operation with effective and appropriate tools are all duties of a PR unit in an organization.
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