Need of Public Relations
In your mix of activities, public relations is another way to reach your audience. It helps build awareness and create a positive image of your business. Instead of PR competing, it can support initiatives in a way advertising and marketing can't.
Across the world, many factors lead to an increase in the need for public relations.
The Communication Gap: The need for communication between organizations and their publics is beginning to be recognized is attested to by the fact that public relations occupy a dominant role in the economy today.
Population Growth: A significant factor contributing to the development of public relations has been the increase in population and the resulting expansion of all types of business, social and political organizations.
Recognition of Social Responsibility: Public relations have grown in importance as corporations recognize that they have a social responsibility to serve the public. Public services of the corporation include financial contributions to the community, social welfare, health and youth organizations have participation by employees in local governments and education and sponsorship of cultural education.
Big Government: Increasing government control of the business, rising taxes, legislation adversely affecting business, legislative investigations of business and critics of business by politicians have all contributed to the expansion of public relations into the field of public affairs and relations with local, state, and national governments.
Development of Communication Media: Unprecedented developments in communication and media made the rapid widespread transmission of information possible. It has become easy to target a large number of audience simultaneously.
New Standards of Ethics: Higher moral standards and ethical conduct in business have contributed to the development of public relations management. The standards are: must speak truthfully, act fairly and deal honourably with the public in order to enjoy good public relations.
Consumerism: Increasing emphasis on consumer service has caused many companies seeking the goodwill and support of consumers to respond by the employment of consumer affairs activities. Consumer activist having served as pressure groups on business are frequently cited as an entering wedge for social reforms.
Education in Public Relations: The growing emphasis on public relations education is an important measure responsible for the increasing prestige of the field.
1. Public relations is free
As Krystal Covington points out, PR is generally free. By doing PR, you build trust and credibility in your brand without spending too much. When other people talk about you, it influences prospects more than advertising. Get your company mentioned in the news, and you will generate leads.
2. Public relations is more effective than paid advertising
Whether PR, advertising, or marketing is better is a contentious topic. Yet people trust earned sources more than advertising (Nielsen). Word of mouth, customer testimonials, and editorial media have a greater impact. ‘PR is almost 90% more effective than advertising‘ in influencing consumers. In short, getting favorable mentions of your brand holds more weight than a paid ad.
3. Public relations complement your marketing activities
Many businesses are competing for attention. But, unlike intrusive and irritating advertising, PR earns people’s attention. How? By providing and delivering value. A talented communicator shares useful, educational, inspiring, or compelling content. And a smart communicator knows how to convey a brand’s higher purpose. In your mix of activities, public relations is another way to reach your audience. It helps build awareness and create a positive image of your business. Instead of PR competing, it can support initiatives in a way advertising and marketing can’t.
4. Public relations is crisis mitigation
For small businesses who depend on word-of-mouth, upset customers can ruin their business. An unhappy person who badmouths your brand can cause a dent in future profits. With PR, though, you can handle employee-related scandals, defective products, and potential lawsuits. Watch what people say about your business, and risk nothing. Effective PR is about keeping an eye on your brand’s reputation and image.
5. Public relations increase brand visibility
Online media doesn’t have a shelf life. News articles remain visible on search engines for a long time. According to Hubbell Communications, articles continue to gain exposure. Other sources (a blog post, reviews or elsewhere) will link to your articles. Thus, share positive, timely and relevant stories across earned, owned and shared channels. Do so, and you will keep your organization higher up in search engine rankings. That, in turn, will bring more customers and drive more business growth.
6. Public relations is a long-term game
Getting PR on your own is possible, but it takes time to build relationships with journalists. Commit 30-60 minutes to PR each week for six months and you get media mentions (Krystal Covington). The essential thing is to have something newsworthy to say. And if you can’t come up with that, then you need to be more creative. Remember, everyone has a good story to tell–including you!
7. Public relations beats advertising
PR professional Robert Wynne says ‘With advertising, you tell people how great you are. With publicity, others sing your praises. Which do you think is more effective?’ Here’s a summary of the differences Wynne has identified:
|Builds exposure||Builds trust|
|The audience is skeptical,||Media gives third-party validation|
|More expensive||Less expensive|
|‘Buy this product.’||‘This is important.’|