When is PR really necessary?
By Jeffery Hoyle
Emphasis Marketing & Communications
I was at a networking cocktail party recently, and as typical at such events, a discussion of our various professions came up. When asked by one of my fellow guests what I do, I replied simply “I work in public relations.”
The inquirer gave me an odd look, and their response seemed a bit skeptical.
“Really,” responded my inquirer. “PR. When would I ever need that?”
This got me thinking; a lot of folks don’t truly understand the benefits an association with a PR firm can provide for them and their business. Most people think that a PR machine is best utilized when a crisis emerges, which is true, but we’ll discuss that another time. But if you can afford to add funds earmarked for help from a PR firm into your annual budget, the return on those dollars can and will reflect in your company’s bottom line — potentially as much as 275 percent.
So, here is a brief explanation of just some of the benefits a PR professional can help you with:
A name change is a newsworthy event. The same can be said for any sort of change to your corporate direction, corporate mission or business strategy.
PR can link your to the right press outlets so the news of your evolution reaches the folks to whom it matters the most.
Corporate communication strategy
How you communicate your business message to the world is important. A PR professional can help you develop your communications strategy, or polish up your existing message so that your target consumer market gets it loud and clear.
In this tech-savvy age, a concise and professional presence on the Web is imperative. Add to that the importance of social media in today’s business landscape, and you have the start of something big — or at least bigger.
Company acquisition or merger
Growth is a good thing, but in today’s economy, it is often a necessary one. Joining forces with a colleague or competitor is not only a way to save a business, but also a newsworthy event.
PR professionals can act as your liaison to the world when it comes to sharing your good news.
Trade show organization/exhibition
It is difficult to truly understand how much work goes into a stellar trade show appearance. Sure, anyone can print up some brochures and sit at a table, but in the competitive marketplace, that just isn’t enough.
A PR professional can help you spend your trade show budget as cost effectively as possible. Want a circus performer at your booth to draw attention? We can make it happen. How about a flashy car as an incentive builder? We can do that, too. Plus, we can help you create your trade show image by designing and implementing trade show displays and materials.
If you are on the organization side of a trade show, we can help you line up an array of speakers for your event. PR professionals are dialed in to speakers’ bureaus and other resources for qualified, quality individuals that will make your event.
Reaching your target audience
Regardless of whether your business has been around for two years or 25 years, its continued longevity is not guaranteed. If you aren’t dialed in to the consumers that can help you stay afloat, your future is uncertain.
That’s why it’s important that your message — the right message — be conveyed to the folks that make your business click. PR professionals can help you build and broadcast the “who, what, and where" of your business to the masses.
Sharing the good news of your business
Expansion of your business, donations to the community organization of your choice, the development of a new product or service, and even a new promotional campaign are all good reasons to shout from the rooftop. Let a PR professional shout the good news for you, in the most cost-effective and professional ways possible.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what a quality PR firm can do for you and your business. PR professionals offer experience, expertise, connections and objectivity to your PR and marketing efforts. Experiences learned from other clients with similar needs make PR professionals a great resource.
So, after explaining a few of these points — in a bit less detail — to the inquiring guest at the networking party, their reply was simple, and to the point.
“Oh, I guess I could benefit from PR after all.”
Another convert. Doing my best one skeptic at a time…