“Why does my company need PR?”
It’s a question I’ve seen more often than I’d like to admit. As an aspiring PR professional, it’s a love-hate relationship when it comes to answering this question. On one hand, my passion for the field makes me cringe at the thought of a company considering no form of public relations. On the other, I love answering this question because I can inform people on the impact PR strategies have on their bottom line goals.
This question may come from current business owners, to new entrepreneurs, as well as
students creating their own personal brand. The answers as to why may vary slightly, but the
overall intentions behind implementing PR strategies remain the same. Some may argue that you need to start the business before considering public relations. I’d make the argument that it’s never too soon to start protecting and building relationships with your stakeholders. After all, if you make the investment, why wouldn’t you want to do whatever it takes to maintain its reputation?
Here are a few of the main reasons why you need PR:
- Reputation Management. This should be somewhat of a given. A large portion of hiring an in-house PR strategist or an outside agency is to help you manage your
reputation as a business. Your business is only as good as the reputation it has among your most important stakeholders.
- Crisis Communication. If/when negative comments arise around your company, the first person that will (hopefully) notice will be your PR manager. We’re trained to stay on top of the company’s performance and perception among the audiences. This includes dealing with a negative situation quickly and effectively if it arises.
- Branding – one company, one voice. Public relations is also necessary for filling gaps caused by miscommunication. Whether it’s communication materials, or social media channels, public relations practitioners can assist in creating one unique voice for your brand. If your materials each convey a different message, you lose coherency as a brand, as well as your audiences’ understanding of your business. It’s important to keep your messaging consistent to ensure that everyone understands what it is you are offering.
- Exposure and business development. The goal of public relations is to help you, or your company gain exposure among your audience. This includes building relationships with your stakeholders, as well as building the business in general. PR seeks to help you gain earned media that will contribute to meeting your overall objectives and build your
company as a whole.
Why else do you think a company needs PR? Tweet me with your ideas @Sam__Dickson!