Public relations has long been a powerful marketing tool for companies. In today’s digital environment, its impact is greater than ever.
Here are nine reasons why every company should be investing in PR:
1. Allows a company to own and manage its narrative. Companies that fail to invest in PR are essentially ceding their narrative to others – the media, unhappy customers, investors, and competitors, among others. Why would you want outsiders to fill in the blanks of a story you should be authoring yourself?
2. Helps an organization amplify its message. A robust PR program typically includes a media relations component. Working regularly with journalists who cover your industry ensures that your company is receiving its share of earned media, a powerful way to share your message.
3. Is custom-made for content sharing. Long before “content creation” became a buzzword, PR professionals were mining company assets to find newsworthy stories and opportunities. If you think your company isn’t doing enough content creation or sharing, start with your PR team. It knows, better than most marketing professionals, how to identify content that will resonate with stakeholders.
4. Permits a company to build authentic relationships with stakeholders. Unlike traditional advertising, which is often a one-way dialogue between a brand and its customers, PR is built around creating and nurturing two-way relationships.
5. Complements a company’s sales efforts. Nothing is more powerful in cinching a sale than an objective, third-party endorsement of your company, which is what earned media gives you. There will always be a need for sales materials and programs, but they become more powerful when PR is used to amplify the message.
6. Helps with recruitment. With a significant portion of the boomer workforce poised to begin exiting, the war for talent will only intensify. PR allows companies a way to brand themselves as employers of choice and to communicate the type of work environment they cultivate.
7. Puts capital in the bank for a future downturn or crisis. You don’t want your first interaction with the media to be when your company is at its worst. Investing in regular public relations ensures that crucial relationships are already in place when you might need support.
8. Enhances a Company’s SEO. Online earned media can have a powerful impact on SEO and keyword rankings. PR teams that work to optimize the content they are sharing can significantly contribute to their organization’s SEO efforts.
9. Forces a company to continually refine its message. Companies that invest in PR are ensuring that their story is constantly being reviewed and refreshed. Not only is that attractive to customers, prospects and search engines, but it keeps an organization sharp and continually thinking about the messages it is sharing with stakeholders.
[This piece first appeared on the website of the Public Relations Global Network (PRGN). HWB Communications is the only PRGN member in Africa.]