Why is Public Relations Important?

What is PR

When it comes to public relations, there are often a lot of misconceptions about exactly what PR agencies do. Many people think about TV and movies where someone famous gets caught doing something wrong and what is the first thing they do? Call their PR person to fix it. While this is not entirely untrue, it represents just a tiny fraction of what PR agencies are for, especially when it comes to representing a business. So what is PR and why would an industrial or technology company benefit from it?

First, anyone looking to expand brand recognition, increase credibility, grow lead generation, and ultimately boost revenue would benefit greatly from public relations. That’s because the job of PR is to generate news stories and mentions around you, your products, and your success stories. It comes down to human psychology: the more often people see you mentioned positively by the press, the more likely their impression of you will be positive. In addition, those positive impressions lead to credibility and trust, and they also keep you top-of-mind making them much more likely to remember you when a purchasing decision comes along.   

So, whether you tell people your company is the best-kept secret in the world or you are well known but want to increase market share, PR is an ideal way to help grow demand for your business.

What is PR?

PR is about persuasion. You’re trying to persuade your audience to purchase your product or select your service. You may be thinking: “But ads are meant to do that, too.” And you’d be right! But the key difference lies in how that information is delivered. PR centers on crafting stories that the media will pick up and circulate on your behalf. Your brand reputation is reinforced when someone else (such as the media) speaks positively about your brand. These narratives build trust and credibility with your audience, persuading them to act.

Why is it important?

There are countless ways in which PR can provide benefits to your business but it can be boiled down to five main reasons:

It keeps you top of mind: As previously mentioned, PR is going to keep your company on the minds of your potential customers, so when they are looking to buy, you are going to at least be in the game.

It manages your reputation. PR molds and maintains your business’s reputation. It can manage crises, mitigate any negative perceptions (and amplify the positive ones!).

It builds your brand. PR enhances your brand awareness and recognition so that more people are aware of your offering and your differentiators.

It educates your audience. When it comes to the sales cycle, people often forget how important the middle of the funnel is. Prospects may know you exist, but they may not be fully aware of why they should choose to partner with you. This is where PR articles come in to educate your prospects and move them further down your sales funnel.

It fosters market credibility. As you move towards a close, PR stories in the press will solidify your business as an authority or expert in your industry, increasing trust and credibility. This will alleviate any hesitancy from the buyer as the deal goes into the closing phase.

With its power to build brand awareness, credibility, and trust while improving your sales cycle effectiveness and increasing leads, PR is truly a marketing powerhouse!

What is the difference between public relations and advertising and which works best?

Both PR and advertising are forms of marketing intended to disseminate information about a company, product, or service. The biggest difference is advertising requires direct payment between a company and the media while public relations does not. You’re earning that placement, rather than paying for it.

There’s little doubt that advertising works (why else would Coke and Geico spend billions each year on it). However, there are many reasons why you might want to choose PR over ads:

PR’s a better investment than ads. For the cost of a digital ad on a major platform, a PR story can appear in multiple publications without space limitations or real audience cap.

PR is perceived as more credible and trustworthy. Because PR stories are, or at least appear to be, written by an unbiased journalist, they are perceived as more credible and authentic.

PR allows you to tell a story. Nothing sticks in your head like a good story. PR articles allow for a more detailed and engaging way of telling people about your company, product, or service.

PR shortens sales cycles. With the opportunity to tell a more detailed story comes more opportunities to educate sales prospects. Hence, shortening the sales cycle.

Can it help with SEO?

PR is the single most valuable tool in increasing your domain authority and increasing your search engine results (SEO). Here’s how it works:

When a website runs your content with a link back to your website, that is called a backlink. Search engines (like Bing and Google) see these links and add them to their algorithm to determine which websites get ranked higher on the results page. Think of it as the cool kid in school. The more friends you have (backlinks) the more other kids (search engines) see you as important. This increases your “popularity,” ranking you higher for your key terms and phrases.

And finally, what’s good public relations?

Good PR is not about back-patting; it’s about connecting with your audience. It’s credibility, it builds trustworthiness, and it humanizes your industrial or technology brand. Lastly, good public relations is a powerful tool that helps you to resonate with your potential customer’s wants and needs and rise to the challenges they may face.

Looking to explore your PR strategy? Hire a good PR agency to help! Contact Rankin PR.