Public relations is an essential piece of a company’s marketing efforts, and, compared to traditional advertising, it’s frequently a lot more cost-effective. Yet plenty of small businesses are still struggling with the concept of PR and understanding why it’s so necessary.
PR and Advertising
A company represents itself through paid ads, while, with a PR campaign, the company can create an organic relationship between the business and its target audience, and build brand awareness. These days, most PR efforts are focused on building third-party credibility and approval.
For example, sponsored posts on Instagram are a part of an advertising campaign. On the other hand, if a business sends out its products to an influencer, and that person genuinely enjoys the product and shares their experience, that’s part of a PR campaign. Other common PR efforts are magazine features, event appearances, and other ways in which the company’s story is featured in front of audiences.
The goal of public relations is for the company to create a positive image with the public, whether that’s through traditional methods or through social media.
Another important feature of good PR is the potential for brand development. One important thing that companies should be considering when creating a PR campaign is having a strong message that defines the company itself. That message should answer the questions that most people will be wondering – why should the public care, and why is the company doing what it’s doing.
If that message isn’t consistent across all channels and platforms, the target audience will be confused and won’t clearly understand what the brand represents. Good PR means creating a message that everyone will recognize and identify with the company itself.
One thing that plenty of small businesses think is that they need to create a big PR push from the very beginning, which is usually long before the company is ready to receive such attention. Most of the time, those efforts aren’t going to produce the desired results. That’s because good PR takes time. It’s not all about instant sales or more credibility, but about a long-term investment that’s going to build brand recognition and trust.
Furthermore, if a small business does end up getting a feature in a big media outlet, the efforts might backfire as a small business might not have the resources or the stock to meet that demand. This results in losing credibility, and even worse, disappointed customers. That’s why small businesses should be prepared for a big PR push that gets large-scale media coverage. Finally, there’s no need for companies to have a big budget to create good PR. Public relations efforts can be as simple as working for a few hours to create a plan, and then the content for that plan that’s going to be distributed across social media channels. As long as there’s consistency, the target audience will respond and build that relationship of trust with the company.
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