PR and marketing are often talked about, as though they are the same discipline. PR is one tool within the marketing mix, alongside others such as advertising, direct mail and sponsorship and all have an essential role to play in the marketing strategy. Increasingly the lines between PR and marketing communications are blurred but they are complimentary to one another; both essential to the success of any healthy business.
Marketing is responsible for the processes that help a business to meets its customers’ needs in a profitable way. PR is the part of the marketing mix concerned with managing reputation. Hard earned, and lost in an instant (VW dieselgate anyone?), a company’s reputation can make or break its future. But how can you act to protect your business?
How does PR work?
In a nutshell, your reputation is the opinions that people hold about the things you say and do. It’s the conversations people hold about every aspect of your company, from your products and services, to your community work and employees. A strong reputation attracts loyal customers, desirable suppliers, and top employees. A positive reputation is good for business.
PR has always nurtured and protected reputations by helping organisations to communicate with their various audiences. PR builds understanding and earns trust in order to influence audience behaviour.
As PRs, we use a wide range of tools to build lines of communication between companies and stakeholders. We work with influential voices to develop and mould reputation, strengthen brand profile and earn goodwill towards our clients. The strong relationships nurtured by PR stand your business in good stead in times of crisis, when we are there to help you manage the situation.
What challenges do businesses face?
More communication now takes place on digital platforms which means information travels further, gets there faster, and stays around for longer. This has opened up more opportunities for PR to reach new audiences. We can talk to people in new ways which benefit businesses.
But there is a downside. “Today’s news is tomorrow’s chip paper” is no longer a comfort when faced with bad media coverage. Online content can live forever, ready to re-emerge at any time and reach millions of new audiences.
We’ve recently experienced the rise of ‘fake news’ and ‘alternative facts’. Fake news can appear very credible, even to a savvy reader. The rapid growth of this trend has weakened the trust that audiences have in the information they are exposed to, especially online. Organisations must rise to the challenge to prove their integrity and authenticity.
How PR can help
Reputations are exposed and fragile in a digital era swamped with fake news. Audiences are unsure whether to believe claims made by companies. It’s more important than ever for businesses to treat their reputation as one of their most valuable commodities.
People are increasingly questioning information, challenging news, and looking for reassurance from reliable sources such as independent media (eg BBC) and trusted experts (eg Martin Lewis of Money Saving Expert fame). It’s easy for anyone to share news, but it’s now more important than ever to strategically position your company’s messages. This is where the support of PR professionals pays big dividends.
In a changing world, the essence of PR remains the same. Our marketing and communication channels might have changed, and they will continue to evolve. But whether we’re working in traditional or digital spaces, we build relationships, grow networks, and influence opinion. Through careful strategic planning we deliver results and ensure your budgets are well spent.
We care about your reputation. Do you?
For more information on how Absolute PR & Marketing can help to grow and sustain your company’s reputation, or for some free advice call us today on 01392 680740 or email email@example.com.
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