What is the importance of public relations? Most small businesses don’t invest in public relations (PR); however, as a small business owner, you must commit to a public relations program for the growth of your business. What is the return on investment for public relations? Building a stronger brand identity will result in greater awareness and credibility for your business and your products or services. Increased awareness will help you gain interest and credibility in the marketplace.
What is a definition of public relations?
Public relations is about using communication tools and strategies to build relationships with various “audiences” such as the business community, customers, suppliers, the media, levels of government, and more. Traditionally this is done through press releases, radio, television, newspapers and magazines. However, in today’s online digital environment, social media and social networking have become part of an integrated public relations program. Public relations can influence people’s perceptions and opinions.
Your public relations plan should focus on building awareness and image for your business and its products and services by:
- Produce stories and articles for the media (both online and offline); Make connections with local media;
- Monitor relevant media channels (such as social media monitoring) for public comment on your business, your market, and even your competition;
- Develop a crisis communication plan and manage crises that arise and threaten the image of your business and/or product;
- Get involved with the community and the target market through special programs and participation in events;
- Develop a social networking plan to connect with online social networks (there are more than 300 but the main networks are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn); including press releases from social networks, blogs and forums.
Most public relations plans focus first on identifying the challenge, then building the campaign objectives, then building the communication tactics and messages, and finally monitoring the results and revising them as necessary. This work must be continuous: first a challenge (such as brand recognition), then another challenge (such as brand credibility), then another challenge (such as a new product introduction), and so on.
In today’s digital environment, PR campaigns can be implemented very quickly and the impact of the campaign can also be measured very quickly. Public relations will help you launch social networking programs. Learning how to use PR in your small business is key: Social media and social media give you low-cost channels of communication, but you still need to learn what to say and how to say it or you may damage your brand identity.
Successful small businesses focus on a combination of public relations, social media, online and offline advertising, direct marketing, and personal selling as part of their marketing efforts to build their brand. Strengthen your marketing plan by adding PR to the plan and making sure to build measurement into your campaigns – you need to know what works and what doesn’t when communicating with your market and with your audience.