Why your business needs a PR strategy; you’d be silly not to have one, yet so many businesses out there still don’t have one in place.
As I move closer and closer to my last moments here at Yogurt Top before my impending maternity leave, I’ve been taking a good look at the PR accounts that I have managed in the 6+ years I’ve been here, and I can happily say that I’ve successfully given a lot of clients a lot of amazing results from the PR work I have done for them. I’m not blowing my own trumpet, but I am pleased with the work I have done, and that feels good. I’ve never had a job that I could say that about before, but here I am, safe in the knowledge that my clients will be left in the capable hands of people who I’ve been trained by, and who I have trained myself, who are going to continue to see incredible results for some amazing people and businesses. So, back to the point – why your business needs a PR strategy. Well, I’m about to let you into a little secret that isn’t talked about often enough…
Implementing PR is the best way to get other people, publications, and reputable influencers to tell the world you’re great, without much input from yourself whatsoever. As Bill Gates once said, “if I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations”. If that isn’t enough for you to take PR seriously, then don’t bother reading on. I won’t mind, I promise.
If you ARE interested in why your business needs a PR strategy, about changing your business, and the way people see it, and the way people TALK about it, keep reading, because I promise you that you’re missing out if you don’t!
A great PR strategy offers a cost effective way of increasing your businesses long term profits. It’s a smart move, and we’re seeing a huge increase in customers coming to us who still are unaware of why they need a PR strategy, and how it could possibly have an effect on their business. If your business is new, and your just getting off the ground, PR is great for you. If you’re a long established business, hitting your financial goals year in, year out, PR is great for you. If you’re a business who has experienced, or is in the middle of, or is anticipating a complete crisis moment, PR is great for you.
You see, there isn’t a moment where PR isn’t good for a business. Here are my quick top six reasons why YOUR business needs a PR strategy, and how you can benefit from it:
1 – Being seen for your credibility, not your ad-spend
Being mentioned in the media, be it online, in a newspaper, in a magazine, or on an amazing blog platform holds a lot more value for a reader than a paid advertisement, because it holds credibility with people. Imagine yourself as your customer – word of mouth, existing customer testimonials, and news articles in papers or magazines are far more trustworthy than a branded advert. A good PR company will understand what works for your business, and why your business needs a PR strategy that is tailored to suit you.
2 – Being able to be in control of what people say about you
It’s hard to give up control of your business. What’s worse is when a story is published about your brand that you have had no input in. Being able to control what the press say about you, by providing the story to the media, means that you keep control over whatever message you want to be sent out there into the big wide world. Now, I’m not saying that you can control a reporter, blogger, or editor’s final version of your story, but I AM saying that you will have a huge influence over how it is written if they start with your press release. If you have a really great agency *ahem – like us*, then an added bonus to this is being able to control WHERE your message goes. We create completely bespoke distribution lists, because we understand that a story about your dog-friendly, local bar is not going to be of interest to anyone who ran a story on how Brexit is likely to effect a rooflight manufacturing business.
3 – Being able to avoid a crisis – or manage one and maintain your integrity
Another little secret that we don’t talk about enough – one of our directors, Becca Underwood, is the Queen of crisis management. Now I hear what you’re saying… why would anyone thrive off saving a business from its own downfall. It’s the ability to see results, whilst everyone else is seeing the business equivalent of complete Armageddon, that makes Becca buzz. Being prepared, and having your crisis team prepared BEFORE disaster strikes saves a business valuable time, and integrity, in the event of said self-destruction (whether you meant for it to happen, or not). If you’re in the position where you’re on the brink, but neglecting the possibility of having a competent crisis management team, then that alone is a great reason why your business needs a PR strategy.
4 – Being able to expose yourself, and stay in the limelight
Another incredibly important reason why your business needs a PR strategy. Nope, I’m not talking flasher macs and dark alleys (see above ‘crisis management’ if it even enters your mind). I’m talking about the constant fight for attention in the ever-changing digital world. Social media marketing is a great way of exposing your brand to the public, but it can be difficult do get the exposure you need with this alone. This is where social media marketing and PR go hand-in-hand to give you staying power that even Gorilla Glue would be proud of. It gives a two pronged attack at your customer’s subconscious buying brain i.e. they have heard of you but never looked into anything you do, they then see your business on social media, then read a positive story about you in their favourite gossip magazine, and wham – you’ve entered their mind as a brand or business that can be trusted. What’s also worth noting is that, thanks to the digital era we now live in, news stories now have no ‘expiry date’. A story’s visibility on a search engine no longer declines as time passes; instead, articles continue to gain exposure over time as they’re linked by other sources, whether in a newer article, a blog post, a social media post or elsewhere!
5 – Being able to give your SEO a boost; no special SEO skills needed
Whether on your own businesses blog page, or through other online media, any time your business, and in turn, your website, is mentioned across the big-wide-web, your SEO gets a little boost. Let’s face it, we’re all aware of the importance of SEO, but the constant spam emails are enough for us all to do an ostrich and bury our heads in the sand and just hope for the best. However, with a good PR strategy, you could be seeing a surprising upturn on your website visitors without having to broach the subject of SEO at all (so you can keep your head warm in that Saharan stuff). Win-win.
6 – Being able to play the big boy’s game, without the big boy’s bucks
Do you know how expensive it can be to run a simple advert in your local newspaper? Add a couple of zero’s onto that, and you’ve got your cost for the same advert placed in a national newspaper, sometimes more. What’s really scary is that whilst you’re contemplating why your business needs a PR strategy, there will be some of you out there who are paying the price for adverts in newspapers, online, and in magazines that simply aren’t getting you the same results as a great PR strategy can. PR offers more for your money, via all of the points above and more. PR helps those with any budget to establish the right public image, and communicate it via a wide array of media outlets, specifically targeted at your audience. Editorial coverage from PR comes at no cost to you, other than what you pay to an agency, and hugely supplements any other marketing you do elsewhere. You don’t need all the money in the world to be in the media, you just need a team of PR pros who know what they’re doing (you DO need to stop paying for adverts in newspapers and magazines though. Seriously.).
Why your business NEEDS a PR strategy…
It’s a no brainer, and if I’m being brutally honest, I think anyone who is still sitting twiddling their thumbs about PR is a complete and utter lunatic. Ok, so maybe that’s a little harsh, but in all honesty, there are publications out there, most notably for me at the moment in industry-specific publications, who are calling for good, well thought-out PR stories, rather than adverts and advertorials, who are waiting for you.
As a nice little indicator of what PR can do for you, and as the quickest explanation I know of why your business needs a PR strategy, I personally have achieved over £3million worth of coverage for my clients in the last three years, and I’d love to talk to you about how, with my PR pro team, we can get you in on some of that delicious coverage that everyone is so desperate to achieve. You can find me hidden away at Yogurt Top HQ, with my big, fat, ever expanding baby belly. If it’s easier for you (because it really would be for me), you can pop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org – I’d love to hear from you.
I’ll leave you with one last question: Why DOESN’T your business need a PR strategy?