Public Relations is one of the best investments a business can make to build a brand. The growth, reputation, and image created by PR are sustainable and even add credibility to the organization. For instance, take Greenpeace’s “Give the orangutans a Break!” remark on Kit kat. Greenpeace activists ambushed a speech against the destruction of the Indonesian rainforests for procuring palm oil for Kit Kats, leading to Nestle distancing itself from suppliers who had links to deforestation. This is a classic example of how Public Relations is more relevant than ever as it can be instrumental in building trust and affecting change.
Most organizations make heavy investments in ad campaigns to achieve instant success and visibility. The goal is achieved more often than not, but with unpredictable viability. This makes it much more crucial for organizations to adopt PR practices in their operations.
Don’t boil the Ocean! — is an oft-heard phrase. A business cannot possibly target the entire market but choose to segment, target and position one’s prospective customers effectively. Defining one’s audience is the foremost function of PR. It is evident that the organizations having the most clarity about their target audience, have a greater chance of success. The continued success of P&G is a great example of developing products and creating campaigns according to their target market — Mothers. For instance, the “Thank you, Mom” campaign pays homage to the support and belief mothers show in their children, helping them navigate through difficult times. The campaign forges a connection with its target market and makes them emotionally invested in the brand. PR invests a great deal of time into stakeholder mapping, analysis and developing customized communication plans for its diverse stakeholder groups.
There are about a million ways to say something. But a PR professional knows the most effective one! PR’s biggest task is to provide an identity to a brand. Brands today do not exist merely as labels or logos— in fact, they are now considered to be ‘Corporate Entities’. For a distinctive corporate identity, a key message is essential which is developed by Public Relations. A key message is a foundation upon which the organization’s further messaging is built.
PR is simple yet complex in nature. It is almost like riding a unicycle, it seems simple at first. Once you get on it, that’s when the real trick unfolds. One often tends to underestimate the importance of PR, over the simplicity of its functions. PR’s importance is most experienced and absence most felt, in Campaign Building. A campaign may be a culmination of ideas. Lack of clarity about campaign goals will lead to weak strategy, weak proposals and in turn an ineffective campaign —Classic recipe for disaster! PR is the balancing act that provides direction to a campaign, which might otherwise spiral out of control, in its absence.
With multiple messages out there to be received by the audience, the question is— How does one stand out? Increasing competition makes it difficult to have one’s voice heard. Attention is a scarce commodity these days, and hence Public Relations is more relevant than ever now as it can help achieve a competitive advantage in a manner that is both effective and sustainable.
Public Relations can also play a key role in upholding the organization’s moral standards, helping to foster goodwill in its communities. Keeping communities informed consistently, including their feedback, and conducting philanthropic activities can help to nurture strong social relationships.
PR is a tool and an investment for the long term. It is a window through which the organization views its stakeholders and they, in turn, affect business and policy decisions. PR effectively is an asset itself for the business, and aids in creating them too; in the form of credibility, trust and profitability for an organization. In my opinion, PR is indispensable to an economy.
– Apeksha Nayampally
Apeksha is a student at School Of COmmunications and REputations (SCoRe) – Class of 2022 – Spring Batch. She is based out of Mumbai. She is a commerce graduate from M.L.Dahanukar College of Commerce. Also, has completed PG Certificate in Digital Marketing and Communications from MICA. She can be reached on Twitter as @A_Nayampally and on LinkedIn as Apeksha Nayampally