Public Relations is all about building and maintaining the reputation of an individual or an organisation. This is done by managing the flow of information between them and the public. Thus the role of public relations in marketing communications cannot be overemphasized. PR is often misunderstood as a process that only takes place when something has gone wrong. But it is actually a big part of Integrated marketing activity, used to develop relationships with influencers & customers, maintain good media relations, create public image, build brand awareness and so much more. Let’s explore how PR fits into your company’s overall marketing plan and why it can benefit your efforts more than you might think!
Public relations is a key component in marketing communications and should be considered from the earliest planning stages. If you know about the integrated marketing communication model or T shape Growth model of Marketing, you will know how PR is a part of overall marketing. Generally, a PR plan has its individual goal but it is also connected with the marketing goal of a company for it to be successful. This means that PR can also be used in conjunction with other forms of marketing, such as digital, events and print, to really boost a company’s exposure to the public. Lets see the role of Public Relations in Marketing.
1. To send information to Public – PR is an extremely important way to get the word out about a new product or service. It’s also a key way to generate positive word of mouth, which can be more powerful than traditional advertising.
2. Listen to Public and other stakeholders – In a customer centric marketing plan It is important to know what your customers or other stakeholders think or want. PR helps building relationships with them maintain it. And it can provide ongoing engagement with customers through regular contact with influencers.
3. Manage negative image – The role of PR is to mitigate potential negative publicity by providing prompt responses to any issues that arise. When a communication plan or product marketing goes wrong, PR helps in correcting the overall reputation.
4. Online PR in Digital marketing – Given the increased importance of social media and web, PR is one of the most important aspects of any marketing campaign, or even an organisation’s overall communications strategy. Since in this digital era, the digital platforms are the face of any company, online content plays a crucial role.
Related Read – Digital PR Plan for the Education Business
5. Building Brand Awareness – Public relations can help in raising the company’s profile among industry groups and professionals as well as media outlets, which again raises the chances of getting free coverage for your company. So whether you are launching a new product or looking for ways to engage with current customers, PR plays an essential role in building brand awareness and communicating your message effectively.
6. To build Trust – PR can be used as an important communications tool that helps build trust and credibility with the target audience. Since PR is an earned media activity, it is the most trusted form of marketing activity. In today’s world, media channels are saturated with information and consumers are bombarded with marketing messages all day long so it’s more important than ever to have a plan for publicity and public relations efforts.
There are various ways of how to leverage Public Relations in Marketing communication plans:
– Create personas of various stakeholders and anticipate what they need to know, when they need to know it, how often, etc.
– Utilise Earned Media Strategies and build relationships with media
– Be aware of Relevant Online Presence If there’s something newsworthy about your product or service, take advantage by reaching out to relevant bloggers and reporters.
– Support Press Releases with Social Media Strategy
– Keep your blog updated so readers will want to share your content on social networks like Twitter and Facebook; this will help increase the buzz around your company and product.
– Write Press release to send information or to communicate key messages of the company
– Develop a strategy for delivering these messages to the right people at the right time.
– Build relationships with stakeholders before an issue arises so that when one does arise, it’s easy for them to hear your side
– Think like journalists and recognise their questions before they do Who? What? When? Why? How? Where? What’s new here?
– Find ways to position your company as the solution to challenges faced by your target audience: Think not only about what sets you apart but also about why customers should choose you.
1. It is the most cost-effective tool – Public Relations efforts also known as earned media efforts is the most cost effective marketing tool. PR encourages more free publicity like news coverage, Blog writing/mention, stakeholder communication, building relationships and more.
2. Increase Brand Credibility – Since PR is all about communicating information through an unbiased platform, where you have to earn your space; it automatically makes the brand information credible.
3. It can improve your SEO – In PR you communicate to the audience what they are looking for and SEO is all about showing the audience what they are searching for. Thus effective PR can help in building strong SEO
4. It generates authentic leads – The ultimate goal of any marketing campaign is to sell the product. Through PR activities you can communicate with the right target audience, build relations and convert them into a lead.
Public relations is a key component in an effective marketing campaign. With PR, you can reach new audiences and increase awareness for your company. It’s also important to have a communication plan that aligns with your marketing strategy. But it’s vital to get the aspect of public relations in marketing right before anything else.
– Shreya Doshi
Shreya is currently part of a Marketing team at School of COmmunication and REputation, Mumbai (SCoRe). She has completed her Masters in Marketing and Advertising from Mumbai Educational Trust (MET) University. She loves to travel, enjoys the thrill while performing adventure sports, and loves music and dance.