More and more people now understand that public relations is about managing a reputation and communicating a brand message through various forms of media. Gone are the days when PR was seen to be all ‘champagne and lunches’ although occasional exuberance never hurt anyone! Companies now demand more, expect results, and want tangibles. And quite rightly so.
PR has a real bearing on the day to day running of a business, but investing in something that has no guaranteed return on investment and often no immediate reward - is enough to put anyone off. Getting it right can be extremely cost effective in terms of increasing business, and can influence shareholders and share prices, improve staff retention and differentiate a company from its competitors.
The way in which a company is presented to the outside world is critical to its success. PR has to be an integrated part of an organisation’s overall marketing strategy, designed to improve and maintain audience awareness and add value to the brand. Good PR campaigns can provide extensive coverage at a fraction of the cost that is often spent in other areas such as advertising and mailshots.
Through effective PR you can improve and maintain audience awareness and perception of a brand. Conversely without a supporting PR programme the effectiveness of many stunning ad campaigns is greatly diminished.
Knowing what’s appropriate is vital, getting it right is imperative.
If your organisation is keen to explore using the services of an external PR resource here are a few key areas you need to consider before making the appointment.
• Do you like the people – you need to get on if it’s going to work.
• Can they deliver added commercial value or are they just good at self-promotion
• Do they know what they’re doing?
• How many accounts do they handle - will you be just another of many clients
• What are their costs - do they provide value for money – do they evaluate?
• And finally, do they provide the occasional glass of champagne.
It was Sex Pistol’s manager Malcolm Mclaren who created the title of this article and he is a fine example of how the effective use of PR can achieve a commercial goal. In his case he started a music revolution just so he could pocket the royalties from his group’s success. And it worked.
PR is not just about having the right brand and the right image it’s also about representing yourself in the right way to the right people, and choosing to do it at the right time.