Published on March 13, 2020, at 3:45 p.m.
by Hannah Fogus.
If you’re a business owner, you know starting a business is no easy task. Small or large, businesses must use critical thinking to come up with strategies to launch whatever they’re selling. These strategies may look different for each business, but there should be one common denominator — using public relations.
Why do businesses need PR? A business without PR is like a PB&J sandwich without the jelly. You can’t have one without the other. PR is essential for any company for a multitude of reasons.
PR increases brand exposure
As the CEO of a new business, you have a message you want to share. Whatever this message may be, you want it to reach as many people as possible. This is where PR can help.
Generate as much PR content as you can, including earned, owned and paid media. Share newsworthy stories across these channels with the hope that outside media sources will pick up your story. It only takes one share across media channels to possibly ignite the “big break” your business needs.
Share content with a notable influencer over social media or pitch content to a widely known channel like ESPN. Reach for the stars — anything is possible.
PR utilizes social media
Today there is no escaping social media — it’s everywhere. When it comes to building your business, taking advantage of our society’s high social media engagement helps you be a part of the conversation.
“When I first started my business, it was really just posting a lot on social media,” said Melissa DeJong, CEO of Melissa Enid Photography. “It was great to practice but also great to have content for potential clients.”
Social media is more than a place to share funny videos of cats and post your vacation photos. You can use social media to create social engagement with your brand without the use of paid advertisements.
Creating PR content for your brand on social media platforms is a way to strategically use social media to your advantage. People are constantly engaging, sharing and commenting — so make sure your brand is in the mix of these conversations. Kylie Jenner utilizes her Instagram page to promote her cosmetics company, Kylie Cosmetics, and clearly — it has worked out well for her.
PR manages crises
Many brands have faced crisis in one way or another. It can happen in a number of different ways. For instance, let’s say a famous influencer had one bad experience with your business and decided to tweet to their millions of followers that your brand is not to be trusted, and they will never be doing business with you again.
Inevitably, your brand is going to face serious backlash — whether you were in the wrong or not. Without a team of PR specialists, your brand could go under. PR specialists can contain the fire by explaining your side of the story in a way that regains some trust and understanding from the public.
Your crisis management team doesn’t have the power to change everyone’s mind, but they certainly will minimize the damage.
PR creates trust
An essential part of PR is building trust between your business and your audience. To gain trust, you must form quality relationships with your clients. People need to feel valued, which is how your PR team is going to make them feel.
Devote at least one hour each day to provide great customer service to your clients. Listen to your clients’ needs, be respectful and most importantly be helpful. People want their needs to be heard and for action to be put into place in order for them to gain your trust.
Designating a group from your PR team to work on customer service and relationship building will create a stable group of loyal customers — something every brand needs.
“I don’t think I could have started my business without PR,” said DeJong. “Photography is such a huge part of social media and putting your best work and style out there for the world to see.”
“I did not outsource a PR person. I was really a one-person business,” said Cynthia Brown, a jewelry business owner. “It would have helped, however. I think it would have helped create a broader exposure that I struggled to do on my own.”
Businesses need PR. People must know you exist for your brand to get business. Think about some of your favorite brands … how did you first hear about them? Whatever that first encounter may be, there was a specific PR strategy behind that initial moment.
That’s all it takes — one memorable encounter. Hire a PR team to put memories behind your brand today.