A few years ago, after an entrepreneur(s) starts a business, their go-to-marketing method is word of mouth marketing. Fast forward to the digital age, top brands and startups rely on digital marketing, PR and Comms agencies, social media advertising, influencing and sponsored posts as their go-to-marketing methods. In this article, we will define brand marketing in relation to public relations, the benefits of public relations and how brands especially startups can use this digital marketing method to increase their business reach, generate leads and also make more sales
What is Public Relations
The Public Relations Society of America PRSA describes public relations as a strategic communication process that does the job of building mutually beneficial relationships between companies and their publics (target audience/customers)
It is simply the persuasion business where you convince an audience, either inside or outside your business environment to elevate your idea, buy your product, refer your business to others and ultimately give credits to the positive achievements and traits of your business, without leaving out constructive criticisms. PR agencies use different tools to carry out this persuasion job and they include:
- press releases
- speech writing
- formal pitches
- special events
- market research or survey
- social media promotions
Benefits of Public Relations
Public relations differs from advertising in two simple terms; advertising is paid media, while public relations is earned media. Here are five ways public relations can help your business grow:
- Boost Brand Credibility
Brand credibility works when consumers believe a certain business outfit has the expertise and trustworthiness to deliver on its promises consistently. When your customers picture your company as credible and trustworthy, they become loyal customers, up to the level of introducing more people to your business. High brand credibility is the goal of every startup as it is what helps them grow into a big firm.
To achieve this level of brand credibility, public relation is an important component of the process. Since the whole PR is driven by genuine opinions and reviews from the external environment, and the messages are not directly from your company, the stories and media releases that appear online are unbiased. This provides room for genuine conversations around your brand and its products, increasing its credibility.
- A Cost-Effective Method
Public relations is the best option for small, medium and large businesses in terms of cost-effectiveness when it comes to generating real conversations and brand awareness. This is because a PR campaign works on the trust and credibility of a business, without a high monetary requirement. It uses free media coverage and public attention to generate awareness, educate the public about your brand, demonstrate use cases if need be, and generally increase demand for your products.
- Boost SEO
As mentioned in the introduction, the digital space has brought a lot of changes to business operations, one of which is Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Effective PR can not only increase brand awareness but also improve your business online presence on a variety of popular websites and social media platforms. When your SEO is strong, your brand jumps to the top of the search page when your customers or potential audience search for products or services related to your business online. When this happens, more people are exposed to your PR messages and releases.
- Positions Your Business as a Niche Leader
One of the differences between public relations and simple advertising is the type of work that goes into them. A press release for example will include simple industry terminologies, unlike an advertisement. This unique touch and value the PR adds to your business content will help distinguish your brand from competitors. The dialogue and conversation that revolves around your business helps you demonstrate your skills to consumers and also the ability of your brand to deliver on its promises.
- Increased Reach
If you are looking for a great way to communicate with your target audience or your business environment, public relations is the answer. It allows you to build on the popularity of the digital space to promote your brand, both locally and internationally. When you conduct a PR campaign on all digital platforms; TV, radio, social media, internet, print media and even online news sites, you potentially target the millions of people that are users of these platforms.
PR is one of the best methods to effectively carry out brand marketing in this digital age, however this can only happen when it’s done properly. When it’s done at the right time, with the right approach, it helps your business reach its goals.