The Role of Public Relations in Marketing
Consumers value trust in the brands they do business with. According to Edelman, 81% of consumers will only buy from brands they trust.
So how do you build and maintain trust within your organization? Through public relations.
What is Public Relations (PR)?
To say that public relations is merely event planning is an understatement, for event planning is only one of the many tactics in a PR professional’s arsenal.
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) defines public relations as a strategic communications process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organizations and their publics.
In other words, it’s the process of managing your organization’s brand and reputation—especially during times of crisis. You can do this by leveraging media channels to promote your company and to cultivate a positive public perception of your brand.
Public relations controls the narrative, which is key for earning recognition and enhancing your business’s reputation with stakeholders.
This method of managing the spread of information is similar to branding. The difference is that public relations focuses on the communication and reputation aspects of your organization, whereas branding focuses on the visual elements of your brand such as logos, websites, and marketing materials.
Public Relations in Marketing
Public relations and marketing go hand in hand. While similar in their actions and tactics, they have very different objectives.
The primary goal of public relations is to boost the reputation of your brand, whereas the primary goal of marketing is to drive sales.
Public relations doesn’t always have a direct impact on sales, as marketing would. Often, your products or services are indirectly promoted through the distribution of press releases or keynote speakers at industry events. Similarly, marketing campaigns focus on leading consumers through the sales funnel and boosting profits rather than improving the consumers’ perception of your brand.
Using public relations and marketing together drives the best results for your organization. A potential customer typically connects with your brand as a result of your public relations efforts and can be converted to a customer as a result of your marketing tactics.
Defining Your PR Strategy
Defining your public relations strategy is the roadmap to your short- and long-term goals. It should be flexible in order to adapt to new markets, new data, and new opportunities.
We have outlined the five components that make an effective strategy and how it matters to your brand’s image:
1. Corporate Communications
The way that your organization communicates with other organizations, both internally and externally, gives your brand its voice. This is the backbone of your PR strategy, since it uses your brand’s voice to execute important messages in a way that your audience will understand. An example of this would be internal emails or press releases that announce important company news.
2. Media Relations
It’s important to maintain mutually beneficial relationships with the press to control the narrative of your business. Having key contacts at different media outlets helps ensure that your business is being portrayed well in the media. When something newsworthy occurs for your organization, you can send a press release to your media contacts to share the news.
3. Community Relations
Your company is a part of the community, so being perceived well by community members is essential to its success. Community relations help establish your organization’s presence and perception. Examples of this would be sponsoring local events, donating services, or actively volunteering in the community.
4. Crisis Management
The way that your company handles a crisis or unexpected situation can make or break your business. With a crisis communications plan in place, your company can operate as normally as possible during a difficult situation to help preserve your image. Some situations are out of your control, so it’s important to execute internal and external communications to help gain control.
5. Events Management
Events are a valuable tool for your organization’s success, especially if your target audience is the Millennial or Gen-Z generation. This demographic values experiences and memories over traditional efforts. Event planning is stressful but exciting, so it’s important to have an events management strategy to ensure that every detail of your event is organized and runs smoothly.
There are many components to maintaining a positive image and perception for your brand. It’s important to formulate a strategy based on your company’s goals to keep your efforts organized and to create the image you want for your business.
Ready to Take the Next Step?
How does the public perceive your brand? This is an important question to ask as you build your PR strategy. Let us help!
Our collaborative team of experts at Jennasis & Associates is dedicated to helping your brand create more impactful relationships with clients and consumers. Whether you have a one-off project like promoting a new product launch or you need to secure ongoing media for your organization in reputable publications like Forbes or Fast Company, Jennasis & Associates has a palette of PR options to suit your needs.
Keely is a recent graduate from Kent State University, where she received her bachelor's degree in applied communication and public relations. She brings with her experience in copywriting, social media management and media relations for print, digital and social media platforms. When she's not jetting off on another adventure, she enjoys snapping photos of her travels and finding the best cup of coffee.