It seems like every top brand has built an internal public relations staff and retained a PR firm – and before you decide whether you’d benefit from doing the same, it’s important to answer a simple question: What does public relations do for a business?
In general terms, it’s easy to say that a PR team helps manage your messaging and improve the perception of your company and brand. But what does this mean for the way you do business, how you sell and your bottom line?
4 things public relations does for your business
1. Builds your brand.
If you ask a PR specialist what public relations does, brand management will likely be the first answer you hear. Every interaction with the public represents an opportunity to strengthen your brand or harm your brand, but those aren’t the only two outcomes you might face. By chasing one or another demographic without the proper skills, you might undermine your brand’s consistency and impact. By focusing too strongly on existing customers, you might cram your brand into a niche and narrow your broad appeal.
2. Negates bad publicity.
If you asked a PR professional what he or she does based solely on entertainment media, you'd get one answer: spin bad news. And that is, indeed, part of what public relations does for a company. Whether the story or event that’s putting your business at risk is true, false or in between, allowing a PR firm to manage the message is nearly as important as allowing a lawyer to manage your case, even when you’re innocent. There are rules to interacting with the public and protecting yourself, and sometimes having the truth on your side isn’t enough to exonerate you.
3. Spreads the word.
Need to get the word out on something? A PR firm has the connections, tools and understanding of the system necessary to spread the word at maximum speed. Whether it’s a new investment opportunity, a breakthrough in your technology department, a hot new product about to hit the shelves or participation at a conference, allowing a PR firm to oversee the spreading of the news ensures it gets in front of the right eyes at the right time.
4. Consults on company direction.
A savvy PR firm can be a potent tool in determining how to move your company forward. After all, nothing happens in a vacuum; consider how many infamous business missteps might not have happened if an expert in public reaction had been in the room to say, “That’s a terrible idea, and here is why you'll see backlash.”
Ultimately, all marketing and sales comes down to how the public sees your company and your brand. If you’d like to learn more about how investing in PR can strengthen your business, be sure to check out Axia Public Relations' free e-book Maximizing Your Public Relations Investment today.
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