This article will argue that public relations are essential for any business. After all, if a company’s brand is in crisis, then there are immediate, business-saving benefits.
According to the Centre for Public Relations (CPR), public relations have been proven to increase brands’ value by up to 70 percent.
In short, with a solid public relations strategy, no matter what industry you are in, you can almost guarantee that you will rise from the crisis.
Let’s look at an example:
This food company was being named in lawsuits concerning contamination of its eggs. The company had a huge PR problem in its hands.
Reporters began to uncover accusations of ‘bribery’ in the media. When this was reported, there was a huge backlash against the company, and its image was now irreparably tarnished.
Initially, this probably seemed like a disaster for the company, as its market value immediately decrease; however, what was more surprising, was that after many negative headlines and media reports, the company’s stock price had also plummeted.
After an initial crash, the company’s share price recovered. The stock price has risen by almost 50 per ceHowever. The company is still on the cover, which would be a success story if it were not for its massive PR disaster.
It seems that the damage to the company’s reputation was not so much the actual damage, but the negative media coverage, which tarnished the company’s image and affected their share price.
What the company had going for them was a well-known, successful public relations team with a great reputation and a strong, established brand. As a result of this, the company’s reputation was not completely destroyed by the bad press, and it has been able to put its problems behind them, and move forward with the crisis intact.
Reputation-building is a successful tactic
A strong public relations team can turn a huge crisis into an opportunity for a company. The truth is that people are more likely to buy from a company with a positive reputation than a negative one.
In today’s modern world, if people see a company’s name in the news, they will automatically assume that they have a strong brand. If they want to spend their money with the company, they will most likely do so, as they don’t want to support a company that has already made their negative impression.
This is not to say that a company can expect a huge increase in profits or for their stock price to skyrocket after a crisis. It is important to remember that people’s perception is everything.
It doesn’t matter how popular the product or service is; if people don’t trust the company, they will not purchase it.
In a business-to-business (B2B) scenario, the number of channels available to public relations staff is vast and important to use well. There is no company in a position to survive without working on its reputation. In the same way that a business-to-consumer (B2C) firm cannot survive without its customers, a B2B firm cannot survive without its customers’ support.
Without a strong reputation, a business cannot compete in today’s world. This means that a public relations success campaign’s success lies in the hands of those at the company and the quality of its strategy and team.
It would help if you decided how to behave and ensure that you have people capable of negotiating the crisis and the opportunity you now have.
It can help raise your profile
Want to become the go-to organisation in your field? For that to happen, you need to build your credibility and bring your expertise and knowledge into the limelight.
That’s exactly what PR does for you with tools including media articles, blogs, speaking engagements, social media interactions, and more. Doing so, it helps to raise your profile and position you as an expert in your industry.
Build strong relationships with your peers and customers
Public relations isn’t simply about broadcasting your messages. It’s about connecting with your ideal customers or clients in a way that informs and engages them with your brand.
This two-way communication is done on an ongoing partnership with your organization to build strong and ongoing relationships with the people that matter.
Issues can happen.
But if you’re prepared for them and react promptly, the potential damage can be kept to a bare minimum.
Preparing your spokespeople for interviews, developing brand-aligned key messages, monitoring media coverage and responding to negative comments are all PR activities that help you manage and maintain your good reputation.
Assist with your sales process
By creating greater awareness and building a positive attitude towards your brand, PR puts you in a favourable position which can influence your lead generation. As such, PR becomes one of the many cogs in your sales wheel!
Add value to your own clients
Last but not least, by integrating your own clients into your PR activities – through client case studies, for example – you’re also putting them in the spotlight. It’s a win-win situation!
If you’re keen to learn more about how PR can add value to your business, get in touch with us. We’d love to hear from you.