Companies cannot afford to ignore the importance of public relations.
Executing a well-oiled communications plan that includes a thoughtful and purposeful approach to public relations is vital to today’s businesses, large and small, and in nearly all industry verticals.
As the speed of business continues to move faster every day, companies cannot afford to ignore the importance of including public relations as an integral part of their overall strategies for success. Executing a well-oiled communications plan that includes a thoughtful and purposeful approach to public relations is vital to today’s businesses, large and small, and in nearly all industry verticals.
Decision-makers often boil down their profile building efforts to public relations or some form of advertising, thinking the two practices are one in the same. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whereas advertising provides a degree of control in terms of what, when, how and to whom information is being communicated, public relations is less predictable at times because earning news coverage and gaining the attention of key media outlets is dependent upon human interaction and personalized back and forth. This is where the inherent value of good public relations shines. The trade-off is that PR offers far more believability with companies’ target audience when compared to advertising. What a business gives up in control with public relations compared to advertising, it gains back many times over in thought leadership, profile building and trust with key audiences and constituencies. All of which have direct impact on the financial success of companies, including sales, profits and especially fundraising.
Consider the words of media influencer Murray Newlands, who recently explained the high value proposition of executing a public relations strategy:
“PR boosts an organization’s credibility, because it’ll operate through numerous trusted intermediaries,” he writes. “Plus, these intermediaries communicate to a certain audience which looks to them to filter out all nonsense [like ads]. If messages are chosen to be communicated, they’ll gain credibility due to the intermediaries’ credibility.”
There is an inherent trust between consumers of news and reporters that is simply not found in advertising. That is because readers and viewers understand journalists thoroughly research topics before publishing information because their own reputations are on the line as well. It is precisely this kind of third-party affirmation from news organizations that allows clients to extract maximum value from their public profile building efforts. Executed correctly, public relations are often the connective tissue between the reporter and the company he or she is covering. Put yourself in the shoes of the person consuming the news – which is more believable: A researched, thoughtful and well-written news piece by a trusted journalist; or just another advertisement?
The primary functions of impactful long-term PR plans include building up, maintaining and ultimately protecting companies’ reputations. Executing a precise, strategic and robust PR strategy helps companies to communicate in a thoughtful way with key constituencies with the long-term goal of positively impacting the balance sheet.