Public relations focuses on creating and maintaining a good reputation for a person or organization. It handles how information moves between them and everyone else.
Hence, the importance of public relations in marketing is quite huge. People often think PR is just for fixing problems, but it's actually a major part of overall marketing.
It helps form connections with influential people and customers, keeps up positive relationships with the media, shapes the public image, raises brand awareness, and does a lot more. Let's look into how PR is part of your business's wider marketing strategy and how it can help you more than you might realize!
What Is Public Relations In Marketing?
Public relations plays an important role in marketing communications and needs to be thought of right from the start of planning.
If you are familiar with models like the integrated marketing communication model or the T-shaped growth model of marketing, you will understand that PR is a piece of the bigger marketing picture.
Usually, a PR plan has its own specific goal, but it also ties in with a company's broader marketing objectives to be useful. This means PR works alongside other marketing methods, like digital, events, and print, to increase a company's visibility to the public significantly.
What Is The Difference Between Public Relations And Marketing?
In simple terms, public relations is the conversation people have about you when you are not there, and marketing is the way you talk about yourself. Marketing is all about promoting yourself, while PR is about getting others to promote you.
When it comes to both marketing and public relations, measuring success, or the return on investment (ROI), is done differently.
Even though they are different, public relations and marketing work hand in hand towards the same objectives: spreading your message to your desired audience, increasing visibility, and boosting sales efforts. Both teams are committed to your company's success and are eager to see it succeed.
What Role Do Public Relations Play In Marketing?
PR has plenty to handle every day, which makes it tough to cover it all. So, let's concentrate on what's most essential in PR's role within marketing.
Running a business comes with many challenges. Will you let these obstacles defeat you, or will you learn and grow from them?
Past publicity, good or bad, plays a big role in how people see a company today. However, launching new PR campaigns can change this image.
Look at McDonald's, for example, and the backlash it faced when the 2004 documentary "Supersize Me" was released. The brand's image has significantly improved since then, thanks to menu changes introducing healthier options and a successful "Every Step Counts" PR campaign that promoted exercise by handing out free pedometers to customers.
Building strong relationships is important for any successful business, both within the company and in the outside world.
Thanks to digital communication, connecting with others has never been easier. You can make professional connections by attending public speaking events or using platforms like LinkedIn. To better understand and engage with your customers, try using social media, surveys, or just having a chat with them.
Remember also to strengthen your internal relationships. Celebrating your team's achievements and important occasions like birthdays to create a positive work environment. Better relationships with your colleagues improve your work performance.
Connecting with the right people externally attracts new customers. Keeping your current customers happy through PR also builds brand loyalty and advocacy, which in turn enhances your public image.
Brand awareness is about what you do and how customers think of you when they hear your name. With 69,000 companies in the United States alone, it's hard to make your message stand out.
All the steps taken before are meant to shape how people think and feel. The aim of PR at this stage is to change people's actions. Creating strong connections and sharing your special message has brought you to this point: your target audience now recognizes you and what you bring to the table. You have built a brand that people are excited to buy from. We know that consumers don't just purchase products; they buy into them.
How To Use PR In Marketing?
Here are different ways to use public relations in your marketing plans:
- Make profiles for different key people and think about what they need to know, when they do it, and how often.
- Use strategies that earn you media attention and form relationships with the press.
- Stay on top of your online presence. If your product or service has something newsworthy, reach out to relevant bloggers and reporters.
- Support your press releases with a social media plan.
- Keep your blog fresh so people will want to share your posts on platforms like Twitter and Facebook; this will create more excitement around your business and product.
- Write press releases to share information or key company messages.
- Plan out how to deliver these messages to the right people at the right time.
- Form relationships with key people before any problems come up, so if they do, these people will be more open to hearing your side.
- Think like a journalist and anticipate their questions: Who? What? When? Why? How? Where? What's new?
- Look for ways to show your company as the answer to your target audience's problems. Think about what makes you different and why customers should pick you.
Lots of businesses hold public events like fundraisers or family fun days to connect with people. They also support events like picnics, concerts, or other social gatherings to show they care about the community. These occasions are also perfect for businesses to meet influencers who will promote their products to more people, find new potential customers, and boost their brand recognition to drive sales.
At times, a company will issue a press release, which is an official statement about a product or service. Companies also release these statements for news like mergers, a high-ranking employee leaving, or starting a new partnership. Press releases are important for both PR and marketing as they keep the public informed while building trust and openness. They also help associate the company and its offerings with specific messages or values.
Social Media Campaigns
Social media is a great way for PR and marketing to work together because it allows businesses to reach lots of people with tailored content and the latest updates. For instance, a company writes a blog giving tips on car upkeep and then shares those articles on social media. They also post about their products, company news, and other updates all in one spot.
Social media gives businesses a chance to talk directly with their customers in a public space where everyone sees what they are posting directly. Many social media sites also link to online shopping sites. This allows businesses to show their products and give direct links for people to buy them. They can also team up with popular users on these sites to get more attention and reviews for what they are selling.
Nobody likes dealing with a crisis because nobody wants to be in one. But, if you have a seasoned team of public relations pros on your side, you can be confident that any challenges or crises your business encounters will be addressed quickly, quietly, and very effectively.
Public relations experts are great at this because they are trained, know their way around the media, and have the experience to help your company or you personally weather any PR storm.
In the media world, a crisis blows up fast, so it's crucial to have someone keeping an eye on your main platforms and any related blogs, news sites, social media, and even online petitions that might pop up.
Many of the biggest recent crises were managed by sharp PR teams, and sometimes, the companies didn't just make it through; in fact, they ended up becoming stronger.
You don't want your business to be known for all the wrong reasons, so it's important to be proactive about your public relations and social media. Leave it to the experts.
A Fresh Way To Handle Social Media
Public relations is all about keeping up a good image in front of everyone. Having a strong bond with the public is crucial, and social media is one of the top ways to achieve this. PR professionals guide you in managing your social media platforms like Facebook (Meta), Instagram, TikTok, and others. They ensure your messages are clear and handle any negative feedback that might arise.
A solid social media presence can do wonders for your business. It helps you create lasting connections with customers and clients and can even sway public opinion. Nowadays, being seen and respected online is more essential than ever. PR firms are there to help you use social media to its fullest and polish up your public image.
Manage Your Reputation
Managing your reputation is crucial for any business, and it's best handled by a PR firm. Incorporating public relations into your marketing builds a positive image and enhances your reputation. It's important always to keep an eye on social media and online reviews and to have a plan ready for any crises.
One of the top strategies to boost your brand's reputation is through press releases. A well-crafted press release can reach thousands and help raise awareness about your brand.
Spotify's Wrapped Campaign
How Does PR Support Marketing?
Public relations helps businesses connect with their target audience. Every marketing effort aims to reach people for a specific reason. Whether it's a fashion brand wanting to attract customers for its clothes or a health service spreading vital information about vaccinations, public relations is a tool for communication.
Public relations raises awareness and improves a company or brand's reputation. Public relations professionals use various methods like creative campaigns, media relations, working with influencers, or organizing speaking events to get your business noticed. Unlike direct ads or direct marketing, getting featured by a media outlet or influencer seems more trustworthy because it's like getting a thumbs-up from someone else.
Public relations sharpens marketing messages. It links a brand or company with the public, especially its target audience. While brand marketing already has strong messages, public relations help refine these messages into stories that attract media and resonate with the audience.
Public relations boost marketing strategies and campaigns. For any marketing plan or campaign, PR helps spread the word further. But not everything is improved by PR. For instance, if a well-known restaurant claims to have the best quick lunch food, that's too sales-focused to work with PR alone. A public relations team would find creative angles to discuss this topic, like the trend of quick dining or what people spend on quick meals. This is how PR supports marketing efforts.
Source: CPB London’s International Women’s Day Campaign
Advantages Of PR
PR campaigns usually cost less than advertising. Ads are fully paid for and often stop benefiting you once the money runs out, like a Facebook or Google Ads campaign that ends when its budget does. PR doesn't compete in the same space. While most brands aim for positive press, PR professionals use their skills to build valuable media relationships, earning coverage or getting it at a reduced cost. Plus, if people share your content online, that extends your exposure even more.
When it comes to trust, PR campaigns often seem more credible. Earned PR coverage, built through positive relationships, speaks to the quality of your message. Media and influencers care about their reputation, so they are unlikely to promote anything false or a company known for misleading its customers. Plus, PR often comes from a third-party perspective, which people tend to trust more than a company's own words.
Attracts Your Target Audience
While all ads aim to draw in a business's target audience, people increasingly look for social proof before buying. No matter how many ads they see, they are unlikely to be convinced unless trusted sources endorse it. PR creatively uses this, using key figures to promote your brand, which sways their followers.
Changes The Way People Think
Good PR transforms a brand's image. If a brand had a rough start or was known for lower quality, PR can spotlight its new, improved offerings. If respected voices in the field also praise the improvements, it becomes more convincing, encouraging people to give the brand another chance. PR is an excellent tool for overcoming past negativity and improving your brand's reputation.
Portrays Brands As Industry Leaders
Being the first name, people think of in a certain field position you as a thought leader. PR strategies that get your brand mentioned across various media and by influential figures help keep your brand at the forefront. Take technology products; certain brands dominate the conversation, making you associate them with quality and leadership in the field. This perception is the result of well-crafted public relations.
Public relations is a key piece of any business. A skilled public relations professional helps create a good image for your company and takes care of your social media. They also assist in addressing any negative feedback you receive. Public relations pros are great at dealing with emergencies and help keep bad press at bay. If you want improved publicity and marketing that comes from folks with specific skills and know-how, starting with a local PR agency is a smart move.