After being asked time and again about why public relations (PR) is important and how PR helps companies achieve their business goals, as well as how PR differs from marketing, we have finally decided to write a blog post that directly addresses these questions.
First off, PR is one of the most effective ways to build positive brand awareness and company recognition. For industries where reputation and expertise are essential, PR manages and amplifies your standing with customers through placement of articles with respected news and trade/industry media. Press releases, bylined articles and stories about your company published in the right publications (both print and online) can promote your company’s experience and knowledge within your industry and with potential customers.
Al and Laura Ries, in their book The Fall of Advertising and the Rise of PR (Harper Business, 2002), contend that PR is the best way to launch a brand because of the value of third-party endorsements provided by the media. Paid advertising, while it has its place in an integrated campaign, is seen as self serving and doesn’t carry the credibility that media coverage possesses. For more established brands, public relations is a powerful and important tactic for ongoing reinforcement of brand attributes and communicating key messages to target audiences.
Even when penned by a person within your company, being published lends validation to your knowledge and ability to deliver services or products. Media placement can have impacts far beyond those associated with the initial publication. For example, articles can be sent to current and prospective clients to demonstrate or reinforce your areas of expertise. This expands the effect of the article beyond the publication’s regular readers. Articles can also be included in proposals or provided during interviews to bolster your efforts. These articles can also be repurposed to create blogs, white papers and other copy for your website, which can boost your SEO rankings and provide valuable content for visitors.
PR tactics have a demonstrable impact on increasing the value of a company’s “intangible assets,” defined as the reputation of management and staff, intellectual property, business alliances, etc. A study by Ernst and Young found that intangible assets accounted for 35 percent of a firm’s overall valuation.
Here at Cook + Schmid, we know that PR, done right, directly benefits a company’s bottom line. We have seen the real results from the power of PR and we’d love to discuss how we could help your company move to the next level.