When people ask what public relations can “do” for their brand or business, it’s always interesting to see their reaction. Some seem to think a career in PR is all about attending glamorous, Hollywood parties. Others might think it means you work in politics, or crisis communications and are well-versed in the art of the spin. The public’s perception of what PR is, and isn’t, is incredibly skewed to say the least, which is pretty ironic when you really think about it.
The role of public relations boils down to: credibility, likeability, and visibility. Ultimately, a PR professionals job is to make sure that a brand or business is not only being seen by the right audience, but that it is being seen as an expert or leader within its given industry. Aside from media placements for visibility, we also want to make sure that the brand is seen as an authoritative, reputable source for industry news. This boosts credibility and trust.
Unfortunately, PR has become something of an umbrella term over the past decade or so, especially with the influx of social media and digital platforms. When we hear terms like “brand awareness” the waters can get a little murky. For example, some PR agencies will also offer services like digital marketing, social media management, content creation, and even blogging. With so many services being offered under the PR umbrella, it makes sense that people might be confused about what PR actually “does”. However, all of the services mentioned above are part of an overall visibility and credibility strategy.
A well thought-out PR strategy for your brand or business should cover all of the bases, or touch points, where your brand might benefit from being featured, being visible and offering expert or industry insight. For example, this might look like: creating original, information content and blogs, showing up on social media, and being featured in industry publications.
One of the benefits of PR for your brand or business is the SEO boost that comes with being featured by a major publication like HuffPo or Business Insider. In terms of domain authority, a backlink to your website from a major online publication can be huge for your SEO. At the same time, implementing keywords and phrases while publishing fresh, original content to your website in the form of blogs will allow Google to index your site for all of the right topics. Both of the tactics above will help your brand get in front of the right audience, at the right time.
Why is this important for your brand, business or startup? That part is simple - because without visibility, no one will know you exist. At the same time, if you have the visibility, but no credibility, people finding your brand may not trust it enough to fully engage.
As a small business owner of any size, your time is valuable. For small businesses and startups, the day-to-day operations of running a business can feel overwhelming, especially when you’re learning as you go. It’s important to stay in your zone of genius, which means focusing on that “thing” that makes you great. Whether you’re launching a new product, or opening your first brick & mortar store, there will be orders to fulfill, inventory to maintain, staff to train, budgets to plan..the list goes on. With so many burners ablaze, many business owners find that they simply don’t have the time to tackle digital marketing and media outreach to get their name out there.
This is where a PR agency partner can help. By outsourcing your digital marketing or PR and brand development strategy, you’ll be able to focus on your internal growth strategies. Simply put, you can get back to doing what it is that makes your brand so great. So, what can a PR partner do for you?
Help develop a brand strategy, as well as guidelines, so that you’re able to show up cohesively across all platforms.
Hone in on keywords and phrases that you’d like to rank for in search, and define messaging for future outreach and content creation.
Content creation, including blog articles, media assets, and even social media.
Build out a content calendar, as well as an editorial calendar for outreach.
Define target audiences and outlets for outreach, and tailor messages to help you stand out to those audiences.
Create meaningful partnerships with like-minded brands or influencers.
And so much more..
One thing to keep in mind when considering a PR partner for your brand or business, is this: PR does not automatically equal sales. In fact, any PR professional who does guarantee sales as a direct result of their efforts, may not have your best interests at heart. Can increased visibility have a positive impact on sales and revenue? Yes, but it's not that simple. We've shared more about this in the past, but at the end of the day, the best PR agency partner for your brand or business is one that believes in transparency. For more insight on PR vs. sales reps, be sure to see this recent article from the DHPR team.
It’s hard enough to try and juggle all of the moving parts that inherently come with owning, running and building a brand or business. Trying to tackle all of the visibility, credibility and brand awareness efforts you’ll need to succeed can feel nearly impossible, but a strategic PR partner can help. If you have any questions about what PR can (or can not do) for your brand or business, feel free to connect with our team to do a deep dive!