Many people believe that the sole purpose of public relations (PR) is to protect organizations from reputation-damaging mishaps and embarrassing events involving high-level employees. While some PR professionals do indeed find themselves involved in various forms of damage control, this should only make up a very minor part of the job. For most, in fact, the idea of a being embroiled in a serious “PR war” is nothing more than a distant fantasy.
So, what is PR and how is it different to marketing?
Put simply, PR grows and maintains a company’s positive public image. There are several ways that this can be achieved including, but not limited to:
- Communicating with media outlets and influencers to share positive company announcements.
- Generating positive news coverage by coordinating interviews and writing press releases highlighting upcoming events and initiatives,
- Promoting new product and services launches through awareness efforts, media demos and influencer reviews
- Submitting award nominations for the company, its products and company leaders
- Managing company messaging and updating it in line with a shifting political environment.
- Securing speaking opportunities for senior employees at trade shows, conferences, and other industry events.
- Managing company crises by offering clear statements to the press.
Marketing, on the other hand, is focused on promoting an organization’s products and services rather than nurturing its image. Examples of tasks carried out by marketing professionals include:
- Generating sales materials for the launch of goods and services. This could include brochures, social media posts, blog posts, and website landing pages.
- Purchasing advertising slots on media platforms such as television, popular websites, and social media.
- Conducting research into the online habits of particular demographics to come up with strategic marketing campaigns.
- Sending emails out to mailing lists about new products and services.
As you can see, marketing is much more targeted towards sales, so it is often easier to track and measure its efficacy compared to PR. However, a strong PR strategy can ensure that your company is highly esteemed by members of the public, therefore improving your chances of retaining a loyal fanbase and attracting new customers.
Reasons to invest in PR professionals
Hiring PR professionals is not something that only large, multinational corporations do. It is a key part of driving business success for small and large companies alike. Here are a few reasons why:
1. It represents a smart way of obtaining cost-effective advertising
Writing good press releases is an art, but it doesn’t take up much time. According to the savvy journalists at The Guardian, the most effective press releases tend to be between 300 and 400 words. With an experienced writer in your midst, this should take half a day at the very most. If the press release is picked up by a few high-quality media outlets, you will have saved yourself huge amounts of money in advertising.
What’s more, seasoned PR professionals are very skilled when it comes to creating an organic buzz around a business, bringing up its successes and ethical credentials to every journalist, customer, and influencer they come across. In so doing, they help to secure a strong brand image that boosts sales for years to come. It’s a win-win situation!
2. People don’t always trust advertising
Word-of-mouth publicity and editorial coverage in the media can sometimes be more effective than advertising, particularly if you work in an industry whose advertisements are deemed untrustworthy. It is also important to remember that internet users are bombarded with thousands of adverts every day – it would be impossible to pay attention to every single one of them. Smart PR is an effective way of cutting through the noise.
3. PR and marketing go hand in hand
Of course, we would never recommend getting rid of your marketing strategy. PR and marketing are two very important parts of a business’s core operations and the two teams should support and reinforce each other. By winning people’s trust and attention with a strong PR campaign, you can boost the efficacy of marketing efforts.
4. PR helps to prevent publicity issues
Although PR professionals are employed to handle problems surrounding a company’s public image, most would prefer to avoid such issues in the first place. By building a public image of your brand that exudes honesty, ethical duty, value for money, and a commitment to customers, you will lower the chances of unhappy clients spreading negative rumors about your credibility.
5. PR professionals can help to correct misinformation
Fake news and misinformation represent one of the greatest social problems of our current moment. Fortunately, skilled PR experts can help to stem the flow of misinformation before it becomes a serious issue for you and your company.
Get in touch today
Are you looking for professionals to help with your company’s PR and Marketing? Look no further than Valux, LLC. We have the know-how to build a positive name for your company and ultimately drive market growth.