Building a digital brand in today’s age and time demands that companies remain visible and connected with prospective as well as existing customers 24*7. And to maintain this consistent presence, either a brand must regularly spend on campaigns or maintain a robust media presence, which is where the dynamics for public relations have changed substantially. When today’s consumers demand social proofing, it becomes imperative for brands to put a strategic approach to the PR activities and not just think of it as another good-to-have activity. PR professionals, in fact, are the communication strategists of the day, ensuring that the brand remains in the spotlight for the right reasons, at the right time, and to the right audience.
Emergence of the new-age PR ecosystem
Let’s take the example of the digital marketing function, which is segregated into two verticals, i.e., paid and organic. Companies usually prefer to build an organic business model (unless supported by hoards of VC cash), amplified by the paid performance marketing efforts. Similarly, PR activities have emerged as a credible source of brand building, supported by paid awareness campaigns. In short, it is no longer a peripheral brand-building activity but an essential part of a company’s strategy and growth. The PR function now covers almost all aspects of brand communication, including advertising, marketing, corporate communications, event management, and crisis communications.
Armed with new-age platforms, including social media, the PR ecosystem creates winning strategies through contemporary marketing tools, from branding and social media management to influencer and media relations.
Carefully-crafted PR strategy contributes to business performance
Indeed, the PR function is slowly becoming a revenue center. Today, PR is about creating and narrating a story that resonates with the audience for lasting impact rather than being limited to getting print, digital, and broadcast media coverage. PR professionals leverage social media tools like Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Quora to reach their audience. They are adept at creating a unique and authentic story that conveys the appropriate brand message using the right social media channels. It is vital for new businesses to acquire new customers who are not just socially aware but come well researched.
While crafting engaging narratives before launch is crucial, creating a reliable and engaging brand image for existing businesses is equally important. It entails connecting with the potential audience through a series of stories told via events, social campaigns, partnerships, and press. This improves brand recognition and establishes a robust digital presence. It helps in organic business building efforts (backlinks, SEO, Online reputation Building, Social Reputation Index) and paid marketing efforts (any growth marketing genius will agree that how a robust digital history helps optimise paid campaigns).
Reach the target audience organically
Building a community (based on a unique brand narrative) goes a long way in retaining customers in today’s age, as millennials and GenZ may not be loyal to a brand but are incredibly loyal to communities. A sharp PR approach can successfully help you build such a tribe of loyal customers.
Nowadays, a brand’s target audience is present on multiple digital platforms while relying on third-party validation before making a purchase. Here’s where PR activities and tools such as influencers and online reputation builders come into great effect.
In A Nutshell
It will be prudent to say that brands must look at PR from a new lens and give it due importance. Going forward, a well-amplified PR will help deliver a fantastic business legacy for India and the global markets.
The views and opinions published here belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the views and opinions of the publisher.
This article was first published in the PRAXIS 2022 special edition print magazine of Reputation Today.