If you’re starting to edge your way into the world of business, you may have come across the term PR. It stands for public relations, and it’s all about getting your business noticed. Many companies will leave PR out of their marketing campaign, especially in the early days. But today, I’ll show you why I think it’s crucial that you consider it early on. It is another string to your marketing bow (and another cost on your balance sheet). However, I think it’s one of the best returns on investment you can make in your business.
What is PR?
PR is public relations, and it means exactly that. It’s managing and crafting your perception in the media. That’s everything from how your business is perceived, and how your personal brand is talked about. Most importantly, it deals with media coverage about new products and business affairs. If you’ve got a new announcement, your PR company will make sure that the major media outlets are covering it. There are different levels of PR. It can range from a full-time, in-house PR rep to simply hiring a PR distribution service.
It builds your reputation
The most important thing about PR is that it builds your reputation and your authority. By securing press coverage in your industry media circles, it boosts your reputation. With one swift news story, you’re now perceived as a major player in the industry. With some PR campaigns, you can even build your own personal brand. In other words, you can build your profile as an entrepreneur, founder, and philanthropist.
Tell your story
I’m a firm believer in telling your business story. Showing people behind the scenes builds brand trust and loyalty. It helps customers and clients understand the motives and the values behind your company. Quite simply, people connect with you and your business if you let them in, and tell a story. You can use PR to disseminate that story wider and further. Make it a key part of your brand, and ensure that media outlets are talking about it.
It’s more trustworthy than advertising
I’m sure you’re thinking “Well, I can get this kind of coverage with advertising.” The difference is that it appears as though the media is talking about you naturally. It looks more organic when your product is recommended in a blog post or reviewed online. If advertising is you shouting about how good you are, PR is influential people shouting about how good you are. Now, which do you think is more effective?
Naturally, it’s difficult to calculate the exact return on investment for PR services. Every campaign brings different results, and very little is actively measurable. What is clear, however, is that the increase to your reputation and brand awareness is priceless. It’s the sort of publicity you can’t get organically as a small business.
I think PR is essential at any level of business, even when you’re starting out. It’s the essential groundwork of building a connection outside your bubble. There’s nothing more powerful than influential people talking about you.