When you are a business owner, it is very easy to be caught up in the day-to-day grind of working the basics. You concentrate on the business operations, making sure your supplies are meeting your demands. You keep your accounting books in order so expenditures are managed and income is healthy. You ensure that your resources and manpower are planned well and sufficient for the sales/service targets you are trying to meet. Importantly you work towards clients and/or customer satisfaction in whatever you deliver.
While focused in the process of keeping the daily operations running smooth, often though, you overlook other equally important aspects of the business that are equally vital. Maintaining reputation is one of these easily-overlooked factors that, sadly, puts a lot of businesses in jeopardy. Very few business owners prioritise or invest in public relations (PR) to build and enhance their brand’s reputation.
These days strategies around public relations are readily available online. It is extremely important to sieve through the many approaches to understand, pick and implement a strategy that is right for your business.
There are several myths that many business owners believe in and—worse—implement. Let’s debunk some of these myths;
Public relations is all just about the press conferences and press releases.
While there is no harm in letting people know what your business is up to, if you do it every time there is a small change in your business, then you lose the element of purpose over time. Both media and customers alike will get tired of hearing what you have to say since not everything has a direct impact on them anyway. Before embarking on a trail of press releases, stop and think of the messaging and approach in the release and the impact it’s meant to create – translating in ROI for your business. Never throw a press conference without thinking through the launch or the announcement because you and your team might be the only one attending it!
Public relations is nice to have but does not mean it’s a necessity.
Well, this is just like saying it is nice to have a good reputation but it is not really necessary. PR, above all, is about building and maintaining reputation. It is of absolute necessity that you have good reputation because, frankly, how are you supposed to sell a product if your market does not know you or trust your brand? So if you are saying PR is a nice to have but you can do without – think again.
Public relations is all about your business’ connections and relationships with the media.
When engaging in PR, having media connections are a definite plus. However apart from the mainstream media like the dailies and print publications that we often target for feature stories or broadcast coverage, explore online and social media platforms to tap on; multimedia platforms like Vimeo and YouTube; social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat; There are blogs. You can very much DIY your publicity and not solely rely on traditional media. Explore the possibilities and get creative with the content.
You will only need a PR management plan when there’s a crisis or negative publicity coming your way.
This is a very common misconception about PR. You only do it when you need to correct the public perception or impression of your brand. Or in other instances, you do it when you need to brush off a bad publicity. That is definitely not ideal. Reputation management or a Crisis Communication Plan should be one of those key documents you have readily available when a crisis hits your brand. Managing reputation is something we do for ourselves regularly, a business/brand is no different.
You have a PR management plan to get consumers/clients and stakeholders talking about new developments in your business. You engage in clever PR so there is always a buzz around your brand and talk about how innovative your brand is or about the quality of the products and services you offer. However you decide when it comes to PR for crisis management, you will only think about it when something goes wrong or when a bad review hits – then it appears adhoc and unprofessional.
The Affluence PR team is a dedicated team of professionals who can help you handle reputation management or get together a Crisis Communication plan to use when you need it – online and offline. You will need a committed team that will help you manage your customers’ view of your brand. We, at Affluence PR, give our clients a comprehensive end-to-end solution, and a range of complete and integrated public relations services that will generate for our clients the public awareness they need to make a mark in their industry..
PR can get you the results you want, overnight.
Credibility and reputation for a brand or business takes time to build. If to date your business has not spent much time thinking about PR and you have decided to put a plan in place – while we applaud your decision we cannot guarantee that your publicity efforts will get you the awareness you expect immediately. PR takes time. You need to establish who you are as a business or as a brand. Then, you capitalise on visibility. People need to see you constantly. PR does not erase negative publicity overnight. After all, it is people’s perceptions that you are changing and that is not bound to be altered in a day.
Public relations cannot be quantified and measured, therefore, it is worthless.
This is another misconception that is unfounded. PR is not like a survey that you can quantify the answers of after a particular number of respondents. It is not a series of interviews that you can make a report out of. The effects of PR manifest in many ways. Sometimes, you see the effects at different points in time. When you do PR and you raise public awareness of your brand, it is already making a difference and that is result in itself.
Once you break through with publicity, you’re a success and the work is done.
In the same way that you don’t consider your business a Fortune Top 500 after your first hundred thousand, you don’t consider your reputation sealed after just one hit on a Facebook post. There is no clear-cut policy on when one can say that a business has reached its peak. In a global, dynamic environment everything changes in a blink..One day, a business is making millions and their online posts are a hit. The next day, a competitor has booted that business out of its top spot. A business needs to sustain PR and not get complacent to stay ahead and in line with the business objectives.
There you have it: PR myths. We hope with this article we’ve cleared them up for you to better understand the true value in making PR part of your marketing mix. Hopefully, you do not have any of these in motion right now in your business. If you do, then you might want to revisit your business model or you can give us a call. Our team at Affluence PR would always gladly want to talk to you and help you with your current and succeeding PR campaigns. Let us do what we do best so you could focus on servicing your clients and accumulating revenues for your business.