By Fiona Donnellan, Founder, Sustainable PR, 27th August 2019
PR or public relations can be daunting for new businesses and startups, but it should go hand in hand with any business marketing plan. PR will enhance a brand’s reputation with consumers by generating positive publicity. This publicity might be a business profile in one of the broadsheets, an interview on a national radio station, or even a product featured in an online article.
PR can work for both businesses or individuals who wish to gain exposure and brand awareness so PR can be tailored for businesses of any size and businesses with any budget.
The benefits of PR for your business:
- Positive image – when a brand story is picked up by news outlets it can promote a positive image of your business to a large audience. This audience can be strategically targeted eg. a clothing brand would focus on fashion and lifestyle media outlets. The PR agency can reach out to fashion editors and journalists.
- Credibility – Robert Wynne of Forbes puts it best “public relations is earned media. This means you convince reporters or editors to write a positive story about you or your client, your candidate, brand or issue. It appears in the editorial section of the magazine, newspaper, TV station or website, rather than the “paid media” section where advertising messages appear. So your story has more credibility because it was independently verified by a trusted third party, rather than purchased.”
- Reach – this is the number of individuals who will see, read, or hear about your business. The bigger the reach the more eyes on your business. Reach is a direct benefit of PR.
- Cost-effectiveness – PR is a cost-effective way to reach a target audience versus advertising which can be costly. PR agencies can work with your budget to achieve agreed KPIs.
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) – SEO is the “process of increasing the quality and quantity of website traffic by increasing the visibility of your website or web page to users of a web search engine.” Online articles about your business remain visible on web search engines indefinitely, it’s not just a fleeting social media post. This means that content secured by a strong PR strategy can improve your ranking. The more this link is shared by trusted news outlets, bloggers, customers, reviewers, friends and family the more likely your business is to remain in these web search engine results.
Understandably running a small business or startup can often mean limited budget, but PR can help small businesses grow and bespoke PR strategies can be more cost-effective than you might think. The right PR strategy can see great results and increases in customers visiting your site, an engaged audience talking about the business, and overall brand awareness.
PR agencies know everyone in the industry and it’s up to them to keep your business top of mind with journalists so if they’re running a story your business is in the mix. Ultimately a PR agency wants to keep your business in your audience’s view long term.
Remember endorsements in media of your business or product will add valuable credibility and will compliment your overall marketing strategy.