Public Relations Increases Brand Engagement and Sales

As business owners are struggling to find more effective ways to reach out to their target audiences and create brand engagement, there is a growing trend among consumers to tune messages out. Limited budgets, increased competition, faster speed to market compound the issues and reduce the margins for error.

Taking into account TV commercials, radio ads, billboards, newspaper ads, banner ads, PPC ads (search engine marketing) consumers are being bombarded by 5000 messages daily. Consumers are faced with the daunting task of deciphering all of these messages and choose the product that best fills their needs. So how can your message standout from the marketing clutter and build your brand’s credibility?

The answer could be in your company’s public relations strategy. Long considered marketing’s distant cousin, marketers don’t necessarily integrate PR into their marketing plans. The main reason is that unlike advertising, marketers can’t control the message; forcing them to rely on the opinion of an unbiased third party. Just to show you how powerful negative PR can impact your brand, we can just look at what happened when the American College of Chest Physicians published a report on the ineffectiveness of cough medicines. Sales in all segments of cough syrups dropped dramatically during January, 2006 when the editorials that major media outlets had published were at their highest point. As media interest subsided, sales rebounded. Studies have shown that consumers put more are more likely to make a purchasing decision based on an article than based on an ad. So why don’t marketers divert funds to public relations?

Not being able to control the message is not the only reason that they haven’t been all jumping on the public relations bandwagon. If you haven’t noticed newspapers, magazines, television and radio stations have been prospering in the Internet Age. Declining readership, mergers, reduced editorial staffs and sagging revenues are negatively impacting the industry.

Also, just because a company decides that it’s going to optimize public relations efforts, it doesn’t mean that a media outlet is going to write about your product or service. Relationships have to be forged; trust and credibility have to be developed, all which require time, effort and funds. With shorter time frames to deliver results, it’s hard to blame marketers for not investing time and resources in a strategic public relations strategy.

For those marketers that want to build credibility with their target audiences and increase brand awareness and sales, an investment (and not an expense) in public relations is an investment that companies have to make.

Ideas and Information to Boost Public Relation Career

The continuous existence and growth of any concern depends on the skills of its PR department. Public Relation is an art which is vital for the survival of any profit making business be it an individual or an organization, and it is for this reason a good PR person is so much sought after and so much in demand. The job of the PR department is to let everybody who matters for the growth and prosperity of the organization know about the available products and services in the best possible manner and to provide the maximum exposure to increase the clientele and as a result the profitability.

Public Relation is an acquired rather than an inborn skill. A good PR person is one who has learnt it all the hard way through proper training and plenty of in service experience. It is for this reason, students who want to make their living in the Public Relation sector and experienced professionals who want to hone their skills undergo various Advertising and Public Relation Courses so that they can give a better performance in the long run. Good PR is important because it

· Emphatically announce the presence of specific products and services.

· Gives the maximum possible exposure and helps in the establishment of brand names.

· It cuts out the burgeoning competition and boost business revenue.

· Increases the credibility of the business house and establish customer loyalties.

The main function of the PR person is to create an interest among the target populace regarding the existence of a particular name. This can be done through various events or campaigns which are both fun and informational. The idea is to create a buzzword without being too obvious about the marketing part of the business which may otherwise make the customers cry off and shun the campaigns as nothing but just another publicity gimmick for getting the products sold. Advertising and Public Relation Courses make an individual a master in this extremely important marketing art, they learn the subtle methodologies and techniques that comprise a good Public Relation management. A professionally qualified and rightly trained PR personnel is a great asset for any business house, they can contribute greatly not only to the progress and growth prospect of their respective organizations but also take themselves to the next level on the road to individual success. The Advertising and Public Relation Courses greatly help in that arena.

Many famous and lesser known institutes offer a variety of PR Courses in India, some of the most famous and established names in Public Relation training are SIMC or the Symbiosis Institute of Mass Communication located at Pune, Makhanlal Chaturvedi National University of Journalism situated at Bhopal, IIMC or the Indian Institute of Mass Communication located in New Delhi,The Delhi School of Communication (DSC) in New Delhi, School of Broadcasting and Communication present at Mumbai and finally the Xavier Institute of Communication or the XIC also in Mumbai. The PR Courses in India are at par with the best in the world and utilize the latest theories and most effective techniques that prepare the students for the global market.

Build Business Relationships With Public Relations

Companies often misunderstand what is public relations and whether they might benefit from integrating it into their marketing mix. For small, mid-size and large companies and organizations as well as entrepreneurs, public relations is essential for building and maintaining mutually-beneficial relationships with your target audiences, or constituents.

Transform From Island Mentality To A Sunshine State of Mind

Your company is not a lone entity, like an island surrounded by water. Envision your company like the sun, with rays that extend out in many directions. Do your company’s rays communicate with your many constituents and positively impact them? You have many opportunities to communicate and impact, and to be a receiver of the good that comes back to your company.

The reality is that your company connects with many individuals, companies, organizations and entities on a daily basis. These are your constituents, your employees, board of directors, clients, referral partners, area community, and others.

Honor them, communicate with them consistently, and treat them well. And, with time, through letting go of the “island” mentality and adopting a “sunshine” state of mind, your constituents naturally will return the favor, as seen through your strong reputation, new clients, increased referrals, less employee turnover, more confident board, and a growing business.

How PR Works, In A Nutshell

To build strong relationships with each constituent, you will want to determine what each group may need to hear and receive from your company as to communications, infrastructural changes, product changes, etc. Public relations includes internal and external initiatives, to reach each of your constituents.

Ideally, you will want to proactively conduct internal and external relations on a consistent basis to build and maintain those important business relationships. Also, if, for example, you have employee challenges and turnover, you will want to develop internal public relations initiatives that reach them. Examples can be an internal e-newsletter, intranet, quarterly employee events, upward communications from employees to management, etc.

To reach your external audiences, you have a myriad of tools, such as publicity, marketing materials, special events, direct mail campaigns, community involvement, grassroots initiatives, and much, much more. You also have many opportunities for them to communicate with you through an 800-line, blog, surveys, etc., which will help you to hear from them. This vital information can help you to strengthen your operations, products, services and customer service.

Before long, you will have a stronger company and one that truly reaches out and honors each of its constituents. As a result, anticipate your company becoming further noticed, trusted, respected, utilized and referred business.

How to Know You Need Public Relations

You need public relations when/if any of these points resonate with you:

  • You have clients/customers/members, hourly/salary employees, volunteers, vendors, a board of directors, referral partners, and other key audiences/constituents
  • You seek to increase your company’s/organization’s visibility, sales/memberships, revenues and profits
  • People may not understand what you offer, what is the value, how it differentiates, why they should buy from you or utilize your services
  • Your competitors are featured in the news media, while your company/organization rarely, if ever, is highlighted
  • Your competition appears to be succeeding, while you still struggle
  • Your relationships with various key audiences/constituents could be strengthened
  • You are disappointed in the response from prospects and clients
  • You encounter employee complaints, struggles and high turnover
  • You realize that you do not have a plan to communicate with your key constituents

Begin Building Your Business Relationships Today!

Be assured that public relations is accessible to you and will help you, whatever your company/organization size or type. The sooner you begin, the faster you will achieve your business goals.

Seek an experienced public relations professional to guide you forward and implement public relations initiatives on your behalf. The internet, books, workshops/seminars and other resources also can educate and help you.

Commit to creating a success company/organization through proactively building strong business relationships. The best of luck to you!