People don’t know what they don’t know.
Business might be booming with both returning and new customers, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore public relations. In fact, it’s when things are going well that you should invest in a public relations plan. Think of it as your own personal bullhorn, so to speak. Because believe it or not, for every customer you have, there is another one out there who doesn’t know about your company.
As Richard Branson, the billionaire founder of Virgin Group, has said, “Publicity is absolutely critical. A good PR story is infinitely more effective than a front-page ad.”
A well-placed story on a business page or the 6 p.m. newscast can be more effective than an ad because the story is a third-party lending credence to what you are saying about your business. A 2012 Nielsen study reported that 92 percent of consumers say they trust earned media, along with word of mouth or recommendations from family and friends. That statistic underscores the value of a story about your company, or a story you are quoted in that is shared across social media.
Still not convinced? Consider the five reasons why you need a great public relations plan, even in good times:
- To attract business. A good public relations plan can raise awareness of your company, perhaps even among business prospects that didn’t know about your product or service until they read a story in a business publication or saw your interview on the local news. The exposure can open up business opportunities you didn’t’ know existed.
- To establish yourself and the company as an expert in the field. Public relations raises your credibility. If potential customers or business contacts see you being quoted in the news or winning awards, you might find people sitting up and paying more attention the next time you sit across the desk from them and try to sell your product or service.
- To raise brand awareness. As you attract new business and increase your credibility, you are also raising awareness of your brand and what it stands for — whether its outstanding customer service, custom-made products or old-world quality craftsmanship. As you raise brand awareness, you increase the value of your company and its products.
- To attract and retain good employees. If your business is going great, you want to keep the momentum. One way to do that is by attracting — and retaining — great employees. Promoting your brand and company culture will keep current employees on track and attract the interest of future employees.
- To be prepared for anything. With a good public relations partner, you are able to respond more quickly to situations. Whether a reporter is looking for an expert source for a breaking story or if you need to discuss a recent company crisis, a good public relations partner can help you be prepared. Both a public relations plan and a crisis communications plan can outline exactly how to respond to any situation and will be very beneficial to your company in the end.
For some, public relations can be the least valued expense in a company budget, but wise company leaders know that public relations can be the most valuable resource in which to invest. It does, after all, help prepare a company for anything.
Contact us today to learn more about the benefits of public relations and how we can help!