How public relations works to boost your brand

The Blog

When it comes to marketing budgets, many businesses may feel that allocating precious dollars toward a public relations strategy isn’t necessary. Advertising and marketing are often seen as top priorities and this is where they focus their efforts. But what brands don’t realize is that building a successful marketing strategy relies heavily on PR and that those who are on top of their public image are seeing much larger returns in the long run.

The goal with PR is to create brand awareness by optimizing placements to gain the best exposure, brand authenticity, and reputation for reliability. This can be done with a strategic balance of owned and shared media and earned media. For newly launched brands, earned media is the most critical facet of building a trustworthy reputation.

A business can live or die based on its brand reputation which is why it is important to understand the powerful role PR plays in building your business.

Don’t forget that everyone has a voice

In 2022, when anyone and everyone is online, positive public opinion trumps everything. 

Online opinion when the chips are down spreads like wildfire with social media accounts lit up by an unimpressed public who demand to be heard. Consumer loyalty ebbs and flows at an incredible pace and existing and potential customers can get lost in the tide. Building a good relationship with your target audience based on a reputation of transparency and honesty is priceless.

Tell your brand’s story, your way

PR is the “golden mouthpiece” of your brand’s identity. Aside from helping your business foster audience love and customer loyalty for your brand, strong PR allows you to entrench the narrative in communications with consumers, business partners, and current and potential employees. Well-crafted PR makes sure your story is told and you’re able to control the dialogue. 

You can send the right message at the right time to the right people – and set the roadmap for future successes and profitability. Without PR, you are essentially giving that power to your competitors.

Tried and trusted is loved and remembered

Trust is the pivotal pillar that will determine the success of your brand because people are not likely to trust something they have never seen or heard of before. PR management works to increase online presence, credibility, and brand awareness which takes time and hard work. Strategies to build credibility include positioning your brand as an industry thought leader through opinion pieces, webinars and round tables, and then making the brand’s wins known through press releases, press conferences and announcements. 

Public response can then be measured and strategies can be adjusted based on how consumers respond, for example, introducing paid advertising to reach a much more targeted audience to support PR efforts. 

It’s all about the relationship building

Yes, PR builds better relationships with your consumers, whether it be on social media, through something they read or watch, or in person. But it’s also important to remember the other – also highly important – side of the coin. PR helps strengthen your stakeholder relationships. These are with anyone that is impacted by your business, invests in your brand, or has an influence over it; which can be a lot of people.

Effective stakeholder relationship management is essential and PR is the key to unlocking that. Most stakeholders like to be given an early view of risks and issues, and respect accountability. Rather than sweeping issues under the rug, you should address problems proactively. Strategic PR initiatives founded on authenticity and tact help establish and deepen these critical relationships, which are essential in building a sustainable business ecosystem.

Online, offline – your presence is there, all the time

We live in a world that is digitally transforming at a rapid pace. And yet, there are still vast majorities within Africa who don’t have digital access. This is why it is so important to have a solid PR strategy in place that underpins marketing functions as a whole. PR helps you tell your story to your targeted audiences and the public through methods other than paid advertising. 

This will provide better opportunities to make key connections with the media, journalists, and publicists to ensure both online and offline presence is boosted. Connection lies at the heart of consumer loyalty. No other marketing activity achieves this as powerfully as public relations can.