5 Reasons to Spend your Last Marketing Dollar on PR
Bill Gates once said, “If I was down to the last dollar of my marketing budget I’d spend it on PR.” This, coming from a man who co-founded a trillion dollar corporation, speaks volumes.
You may be wondering, why are tycoons, like Bill Gates, investing their last marketing dollars into Public Relations? The answer is simple: public relations builds a brand’s reputation, and a brand is nothing without its reputation; which brings us to the number one reason PR is so important.
1. Helps Manage Reputation
A brand is a lot like a human being, in the sense that, like humans, a brand experiences highs and lows, however, in order for a company to not only survive, but thrive, the brand has to overcome the low points - this is where PR comes in.
Brands are run by humans, and as a result mistakes are bound to happen; it is a PR professional’s job to make sure that these mistakes are addressed in the best way possible within the media, so that a company’s reputation remains intact at the end of the day.
2. Promotes Brand Values
Branding 101 taught us how to build a brand, and we spoke about developing a brand’s values. Now we are learning how PR promotes these values.
A brand’s values are sometimes obvious, but sometimes as consumers they are things we can’t see without some proof. For example, it takes zero effort for us to see that Rihanna’s company Fenty Beauty values diversity. But, if a brand valued integrity, we as consumers wouldn’t be able to see this as a brand’s value without some proof.
Promoting a brand’s integrity could be getting ahead of an issue, for example announcing that a box filled with product may have been damaged in shipping, which may result in a customer’s product being damaged on arrival; showing integrity would be announcing what had happened and that any damaged products received will be fully refunded and a new product will be sent out to compensate and build goodwill amongst consumers. This is clearly showing customers that they are shopping with a brand who values integrity.
3. Strengthens Community Relations & Promotes a Brand’s Reliability
Public relations literally means: building relationships with the public; it is a PR person’s job to establish positive connections with industry insiders and media outlets, because having these positive working relationships means having someone in your corner who is more likely to pick up your story because you know each other.
As a client, positive relationships are important because it can elevate your brand’s status, strengthen your brand’s relationship with a particular community, and establish reliability within that community generating more revenue for you.
Let me give you an example: If I ran a cosmetics company and worked to build a relationship with someone like NikkieTutorials, and she ended up saying something really positive about my cosmetics brand, the likelihood is my brand would become more valuable to makeup enthusiasts and generate sales as a result of her positive comments. This is because her voice has value within the cosmetics industry and because she has given me her praise the makeup enthusiasts, who follow her and trust her, are more likely to now trust my brand based on Nikkie’s word.
4. Enhances Online Presence
PR is about building a brand’s reputation and managing that reputation, we know that a brand’s reputation is built through public perception and that social media plays a huge part in developing the public’s perception, so it only makes sense that PR professionals help develop and enhance a brand’s online presence.
Cancel Culture is at its peak, so it is more important than ever that a brand communicates with the public through social media by putting the right information forward to remain relevant and avoid falling victim to cancellation as a result of poor reputation management.
5. PR Changes the Way People Think About Business
Anyone who knows anything about business knows that business is about people. And how do we connect with people? Through making an emotional connection. This is where PR comes in big time.
Anyone can sell a grey sweater or a red lipstick, but what builds long lasting relationships is the feeling people get when they think about your brand.
This is one of the huge reasons I am so in love with small businesses; when I walk into my favourite pizza place or my local dance studio I don’t feel like a customer with a wallet, I don’t feel like just a number. In these places, I am a person with a name. And, to me, that’s special and worthy of loyalty.
A good PR team can make people think of a business as more than a business, they can make people feel something. And suddenly, people aren’t just coming to you because they like your products, they are coming to you because they like you, and they like how you make them feel as a consumer.