Let’s go back to basics – PR or public relations is a crucial component of the marketing mix, but what exactly does it mean and how can it benefit your business?
The objective of public relations for any business is to influence, engage and develop a relationship with key stakeholders across several platforms to create and shape public perception.
PR is delivered by sharing information, usually via the media, to boost brand awareness, maintain a brand image, disseminate organisation updates/news and in some cases handle a crisis.
Brands need to develop a robust PR plan, that is part of their overall marketing strategy. In comparison to other aspects of marketing, such as paid social and advertising, which is direct and, in your face. PR is much more subtle, and organic and is about developing long-term relationships that benefit your business.
Digital PR vs Traditional PR
A PR strategy can be delivered in many ways, shapes, and forms – people often question the differences between digital and traditional PR. As the name suggests, traditional PR focuses on more traditional channels – newspapers, magazines, television, and radio. While digital PR focuses on ‘new’ channels like social media, online media, websites, and blogs.
Both can yield great benefits for an organisation in terms of boosting brand awareness and creating positive sentiment. However, traditional PR success is notoriously difficult to track while digital PR success can be reported on in the form of links, referral traffic and the positive impact it can have on SEO keywords and terms – which in a digital-focused world is crucial.
That doesn’t mean that traditional PR is obsolete and not important – it just means that both digital and traditional should be front of mind when developing a PR strategy.
How can PR help a business?
PR is important for any business and organisation, as it is all about creating and managing that reputation. If done successfully can yield a range of benefits, including the following:
- Positive reputation – having a steady drumbeat of positive media attention will help establish and build a positive reputation for a business. It can create trust and authority and introduce your business to a wider audience.
- Increased sales or leads – effective PR can increase your sales or leads for your business. If you receive coverage in a relevant media publication, you can organically engage with an interested audience who will purchase your product.
- Website traffic and SEO – digital PR has one huge benefit: securing links. As your business is mentioned online more and across a range of websites, this will lead to an increase in people visiting your website. This also means that as high authority sites link back to your website, SEO ranking will see an improvement. This will lead to a knock-on effect; your SEO ranking improves, and the number of leads and sales will likely increase.
- Authority – as you continue to secure links on high-authority websites, an improvement will be seen in your reputation and your business will be seen as a credible source of information.
How can PR be delivered?
Successful PR can be delivered in several different ways. As a business, you need to understand what your objectives are from PR and then collaborate with an agency that can achieve this with a well-executed PR strategy.
Ways that PR can be delivered can include promoting and issuing press releases, securing media opportunities, creative campaigns, tactical link building and partnering with influencers.
What are positive and negative PR?
PR tells prospective customers that you’re a business that can be trusted and have confidence in, while negative public relations can scare customers away from your business.
Developing a robust PR strategy requires you to approach the public and make them aware of the good your business does – whether shouting about your fantastic products or adding your expert comment to a national news story. Positive PR can also cover your involvement in charities, and unique stories from within your organisation (four-day working week), there are many ways to shout about why you are a trustworthy business.
Negative PR is something that all businesses will face at some point, whether that be a disgruntled customer or internal issues that become public. As a forward-thinking business, you need to be aware of what these issues could be and how to reactively respond to them in the best way. The sooner you face any negative PR issues, the sooner you can resolve the issue.
For more information on PR and why it should be a key part of your marketing plan, contact our Modo25 Digital PR and Outreach Manager, Matt at email@example.com