Business goals usually have to be achieved. The responsibility of every department in an organization is to work towards achieving those goals. Public Relations departments or agencies have a responsibility to rev up the image of the organization in the public eye. So, what makes public relations such a powerful business tool? You may ask! Unlike advertising, public relations serve as a critical way to build credibility, which helps underscore the importance of a company’s brand.
Public relations enhance credibility. It builds gradually. Patience and consistency is the key element in using Public Relations campaigns to reach organization goals. Effective Public Relations help build a positive image for a company, which can boost sales and fuel customer loyalty. A positive image will also come in handy during times of crisis.
Bill Gates, the founder of Microsoft Corporation, once proclaimed, “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations. Clearly, he understands the importance of Public Relations in achieving business goals. A business that builds credibility is usually visible; more so from the first glance. Whenever people believe in a person, product or service there is a certain level of belief and trust. Credibility is one of the best things a company can attain. It is an achievement far greater than any accomplishments, and which is normally built through time, though consistently showing how dependable and reliable your organization and its products are.
One of the biggest misconceptions many people seem to have of public relations is that it is a guaranteed source of revenue. However, this is not the case and in fact, it is more valuable than just a revenue-generating campaign. A well-executed Public relations campaign is actually an investment for the long -term prosperity and success of a business, brand or individual. However, there is one catch, the only thing that any individual or business needs to have. That is patience.
Important things to bear in mind in order to have a successful campaign with results
Firstly press coverage. Even though press coverage produced by Public Relations efforts does generally end up indirectly yielding sales, Public relations is not meant as a means to do so. Instead, it is primarily intended to only raise awareness of a brand or individual and to generate industry credibility. Meaning, consistency is the key.
You also need to know that Public Relations campaigns do not perform miracles. Do not solely rely on a Public Relations campaign to make your brand succeed. While it is very valuable, it is not a miracle drug. As with any business, there must be many different factors at work. For example, if you do not have a proper distribution strategy, consumers will find it hard to locate your products, so any press coverage initiated will not work to its maximum potential. Also, if you do not implement a full marketing approach, including marketing and advertising efforts, you will limit the impact created by your Public Relations strategy.
Thirdly, although it is difficult, and almost impossible to monetize Public Relations efforts, one of the most widely used methods of determining whether or not you have made your investment back, is measuring the cost of your Public Relations efforts by the amount of adverts equivalency value you have received.
And finally, once you commence a public relations campaign, do not consistently change your expectations or goal. If you start the campaign with the expectation that you would only need local or regionalized press coverage, do not put high expectations on your publicity team every time that coverage is not yielding the results you were originally hoping to achieve. Doing so not only tells the public-at-large that you do not understand your own message but also creates a stop-start momentum that can be detrimental to your Public Relations campaign.
Even though you might believe you have the best product on the market, not everyone will agree. Your product or service may be the best thing that ever happened. Since sliced bread for one media outlet is not for the other. If you are expecting to get on the best magazine in the market but you do not have the story to back it up, you may scale back your expectations.
All in all, Public Relations will not only inform people, but it will also add credibility to your reputation because Public Relations coverage carries more “endorsement” weight than any advertisement you can ever purchase. Ideally, you will not necessarily make sales just because you are doing Public Relations, but you will be hard-pressed to make sales without it.