In business, as in your personal life, reputation is everything. To be a credible player in any industry your reputation plays the biggest part in your success. It ensures your business continues, is the glue between you and your existing clients and creates trust with potential customers.
By definition PR is “building a mutually beneficial relationship with a company’s various publics,” with the power to reach large audiences. Telling your positive success stories and building a reputation affects what your audience perceives about your brand and organisation. Public relations create a platform that utilises media engagement to communicate your story and brand voice.
Over the past year, we have all seen examples of the power of PR and what can happen to reputations when things go wrong or an organisation is unprepared.
It’s important to build up positive engagement or ‘brownie points’ with your audience. It’s a little like saving for a rainy day because for whatever reason, one day there might something negative attributed to your brand and you want your audiences to recall the good things about you to help outweigh the negative. The first step is a good communication strategy. With the power of social media, how we communicate has changed.
Consistent, clear communication of your organisation’s messages has never been more important. Businesses of any size should have a communication plan which includes some form of PR, along with key messages that can be woven into all external and internal communication.
Key messages should articulate what it is that you most want your target audience to know about your organisation. They should reflect your organisational beliefs and objectives and be relevant to both internal and external audiences.
Here are three reasons why your business should consult a PR professional sooner rather than later:
- Crisis time is not when you should be looking to hire a PR agency. By having communications professionals that you trust, fully briefed on your brand, you can manage any potentially tricky situations with a great deal less stress because you are all on the same page.
- Telling your audiences the good news stories underpinning your brand are not just for the benefit of your customers, but also make your staff feel good about being part of your organisation. It’s a win/win.
- If you have a good relationship with your PR consultancy they will be looking for opportunities to include your brand in news stories with their regular news contacts. With media organisations getting leaner, they look to their key PR contacts to provide story ideas and content that has integrity. That’s where choosing a well-respected agency is important. If in doubt, check the directory of member agencies listed by the PR Industry Association of NZ www.prinz.org.nz.
Article by Lisa Powlesland, general manager at Purple Sherbet PR: firstname.lastname@example.org, www.purplesherbet.co.nz.