Public Relations… a sound investment for any business
Running a business is tough enough. Running a business during a global pandemic demands incredible resilience, creativity and determination. Irish businesses have demonstrated this in spades adapting their offerings at a rapid rate this year and this will have to continue until we find a way back to normal at some stage in 2021.
Public Relations has certainly proved its value during COVID-19. While some businesses have cut their marketing budgets altogether, other savvy businesses have used PR as a highly effective way to keep their brand firmly in the minds of their customers. It is these companies that have managed to maintain and even grow their business during a very difficult time.
PR focuses on relationship building allowing a business to connect with their customers in a meaningful way via positive editorial, social media, influencers and third party validation. With face to face interactions with customers down as a result of restrictions and the necessary move to online promotion, PR supports you to build your reputation across a number of communications channels earning trust and a loyal customer base.
At a time when the media is saturated with COVID-19, people want to hear good news stories, they want to hear businesses are adapting and developing new products/partnerships or how they are giving back to their community. Consumers are well educated, they are loyal to brands that they feel resonate with their own values. Working with the right PR agency allows you to communicate directly with these customers. An experienced agency can help you to tell your story to the right people at the right time, to adapt as times change and to cut through the noise.
With the accessibility of social media channels, small businesses can punch above their weight in this area utilising PR to talk directly to potential customers and build their own online community. In fact, it is the authenticity of this interaction from SME’s that captures the imagination of media, customers and investors as the desire to support the people behind the business comes to the fore.
Like all relationships, you have to invest time and energy into them for them to succeed. Investing in the right PR agency that fits with your own values is important. It should be considered a significant element of your business planning, not an activity that is used every now and then. PR will lead the way in terms of your company messaging, media relations, crisis communications and a good PR agency will also be your sounding board and experienced counsel as you grow your business. It is a worthy investment of your time and one that will pay dividends for many years to come.