As a business owner when you think of your marketing strategy would you include adding public relations into your marketing mix? Whether you think PR is only for the corporates or that it’s simply a fluffy part of the marketing mix it might be time to think again.
In the past the trouble that public relations (PR) had was a bad reputation. Funny really when what PR controls in your reputation.
Traditional Public relations was focussed on getting into the media. Many assumed PR stood for press relations which back in the day wasn’t a bad guess. Businesses wanted to measure their success by how many column inches they had achieved in the nationals.
Public relations has always been about building reputations and public perception. Traditionally it was about using events and press releases to create positive coverage and exposure in the media. Often seen as one-sided by putting out a message to build awareness with the public.
Modern PR is still about building reputations - creating brand awareness and informing the public with targeted messaging. The beauty of modern PR is that is has become two-sided, it is about two way communications, with purpose. Since PR is about the public face of your business, and the perception and influence it can have, it is why it is critical to the reputation of your business. It’s what everyone sees, hears, thinks or feels about your business, from loyal clients to potential clients and suppliers through to staff. As Richard Branson said ‘ all you have in business is your reputation’.
Public relations has come a long way since the days of Edina and Patsy charging around London with their bottles of Bolly and Stolly with Edina saying ‘I PR things…People. Places. Concepts’.
Public relations has become more strategic, it influences social media, it impacts on advertising and inspires digital marketing. It needs to be considered as part of your wider digital on-line marketing strategy.
Reputations aren’t built overnight – and I’m not going there with how quickly they can be destroyed. PR can be a one-off campaign but the greatest impact on your reputation is a steady, constant and consistent approach. No one remembers a one-hit wonder. If you want longevity and a reputation that stands the test of time then you need to build solid foundations to create the future vision of your brand.
Below I’ve listed 6 little known influences that PR can have on your business.
1. SEO / backlinks A backlink is when a third party site shares a link to your website. Using public relations techniques to create digital influence to secure backlinks you can increase your website traffic. Every backlink to your site increases your site’s popularity therefore has a greater impact on the SEO ranking for your particular marketplace. The best backlinks are from the most credible sources. A public relations campaign that secures the strongest media coverage will supply a strong backlink.
2. No longer content with simply PRing a concept, or banging out a press release. All communications are crafted with the right messaging at their heart. Brand identity comes to the fore, how a business is perceived and where it is positioned is of utmost importance. Thereby strengthening the reputation of your business.
3. Repurposing content. Press releases not only attract media attention but with key word optimisation will happily sit on your website working hard. They can be adapted as blogs to use on a whole range of websites beyond yours. With an eye on your public relations and any press releases you’ll never be stuck for content again.
4. Social media This same content can be translated for social media use across any suitable platform. Public relations will oversee the bigger reputation picture with a strategy in place to not only increase engagement but to enhance your business’ messaging, positioning and perception
5. Wider reach. Digital PR allows for a much wider reach beyond traditonal media. With a whole host of radio stations and podcasts, guess blogs and online publications. Targeted PR can dig far deeper to reach your exact audience and hang out where your ideal client hangs out.
6. Measurement and ROI With modern public relations having a more digital focus it is now easier than ever to measure performance and ROI. With precise metrics and measurements in place performance and ROI can be measured. It is easier to better understand campaign results and ultimately what tweaks can be made for improvement.
PR controls all outbound communications, from press coverage to social media. Articles and blogs, news stories and features can all be shared on any number of digital platforms. Not only increasing their reach but with targeting – a more aligned audience with your business. With this sharablitiy comes engagement. Digital PR in this capacity gets people talking. It drives engagement with the public, and better still your perfect customer or client.
It might be time to re-think how your PR sits in this new digital landscape. Modern PR is at the core of all your communications working hard to strengthen and maintain your reputation.
Picture courtesy of iView.com