As a business, often the first trigger to invest in PR is when a crisis hits and there is a sudden realisation that your organisation isn’t sufficiently equipped to handle it. In such a context, opting for a Public Relations consultancy or consultant becomes a damage control step, in some ways defeating the entire purpose and principle of PR. Businesses need PR from the outset. It should be an integral part of the organisation’s investments, and the importance of longevity, consistency and sustenance in PR must be acknowledged. In fact the richest businesses have been shown to spend as much as 10% of their revenue on marketing and PR in 2017. For smaller companies and start-ups, however, there is a plethora of PR consultancy options that are affordable. Ultimately the ROI on well-executed PR is always high. Here are some reasons to invest in PR.
Own your Voice
The more a brand resists investing in PR, the longer it allows others to create its voice and narrative. From unsatisfied customers to the media, if your brand is not reaching out with its own organic voice, then everyone else becomes entitled to attributing a personality to your brand. You have absolute knowledge of what happens in your organisation – from the brand ideology to the company values, these elements make your brand what it is. Why allow others to dictate terms when you can speak your own language? Investing in a PR strategy early on ensures that there are no gaps in public knowledge that could give rise to assumptions, rumours and false perceptions, ultimately preventing potential organisational disaster.
Augment the Marketing Impact
As is widely known and understood now, PR unlike advertising is earned media. This means a significant amount of credibility is added to your brand without you paying for it. The words of external parties validating your brand are the greatest way to prove your mettle. This is how PR complements marketing and sales beautifully, by adding to the impact that paid media garners, ultimately creating brand loyalty and recall derived from an organic reach.
Create Goodwill in Advance
As opposed to the fire-fighting approach of investing in PR when a crisis occurs, establishment of an effective PR strategy that is sustained for the long run, ensures that as a brand you already have a substantial amount of public exposure. With such a concrete foundation, even in the eventuality of a crisis, the media will think before they jump to conclusions or believe rumours about your organisation. Based on the credibility that you have already built, journalists will support you, listen to you, and probably even take the initiative to reach out to you during crises to actually verify claims or allegations made by others. The support of the media can mean more than any financial strength your company has.
Optimise your Presence
Perhaps the most direct and straightforward impact that sustained PR has for a brand is the fact that it consistently grows your online presence, primarily through Search Engine Optimisation. Simply put, the more your brand is featured and written about, the higher up it appears in Google Search. Additionally, the more the variety of publications your brand has appeared in, the more diverse the information about you. As a result your audience not only views your brand more frequently, but also knows more about you – quantity complemented by quality. While quantity grows brand recall, quality establishes brand loyalty.
The most special element of Public Relations is its utterly holistic nature. A good PR strategy, carried out in the long run, not only attracts and retains customers, but also captures the interest of potential employees. Professionals today want to work for a vision as much as for a brand name. A name without principles and a solid base no longer does the trick. So, invest in PR to follow up your face with a voice, and empower your brand to speak.