Marketing Focus – Public Relations
As the leading PR agency on the Costa del Sol, we want to introduce you to the great marketing tool which is Public Relations, explain why it works and what it could do for your company.
What is Public Relations?
Public Relations is defined as “The planned and sustained effort to establish and maintain goodwill and mutual understanding between an organisation and its publics” (Chartered Institute of Public Relations).
Although this sounds a little cryptic, what it really means is promoting a positive image of your company to the world – customers, potential customers, employees, the media, suppliers and the list goes on!
The idea of public relations is enhancing the corporate reputation, rather than to directly drive sales, but of course the better your reputation and the more trust you have from your target market, the easier it is to attract sales.
How is PR different from advertising?
Public Relations is very different from advertising, as you cannot take total control of the message you are putting out. This makes many companies worried about using it, as they feel the press will distort their message, or an event could go wrong and leave the public feeling negative about them.
Of course these are all possible outcomes, but with the right skills, good relationships with the press and excellent organisation, you can work these things to your advantage. A huge benefit of PR over advertising is that the public regard it as impartial and carrying the weight of the media it is in, or the person who is interpreting your message, so it can be very powerful. They say that the value of PR is up to 10 times more than the advertising value for the space!
What does PR involve?
The traditional idea of public relations is sending out press releases and getting into the media without paying money for advertising. Of course this is one important part of it, but there’s much more to it. When planning your PR activities consider:
- Events to raise awareness of your product, service or location
- Press releases about your company to be sent to the local press
- Newsletters to existing customers to build a better long term relationship and encourage repeat business
- Networking to meet new contacts and get business by word of mouth
- Charity support or sponsorship
- Activities such as parties and internal promotion to staff to generate good will amongst your employees
Public Relations is a very powerful force as it is much more subtle than advertising and consumers respond very differently to it. Many consumers actively avoid advertising messages, but would be delighted to attend a festival organized by a company and would be very open to the branding and the company message. This works on the subconscious level and when they receive future marketing materials they will be much more susceptible to the message.
What does a PR agency do?
Public Relations professionals are highly skilled and prepared to handle your company’s reputation and improve it through any means we can. Us PR people are all about relating in an effective way with all the different publics that your business has – hence the name! We try to understand the essence of your company and how your business can connect with other businesses, organizations, community groups and more to transmit the right message and create the right image of your company.
A good PR person is a great communicator who can form strong and positive relationships between your company and the general public and firefights any negative stories or messages out there. We create stories and activities which will connect with each type of public in the right way and we communicate these stories in many different ways.
But don’t just think about your external publics, we also must remember your internal publics, by which we mean employees, shareholders and partners. You employees are an embodiment of your brand. If they are happy, well looked after and given the right information you can convert them into brand ambassadors who will tell the world how great your company is for free! This is a great marketing strategy which is neglected by most businesses.
How does PR fit in with other marketing methods?
All businesses should have a well thought out marketing plan which includes public relations as a key part of their marketing mix. Public Relations is best used in combination with controlled marketing such as online marketing, flyer drops and advertising, as it significantly increases the power of any paid marketing and also gets you more bang for your buck.
We have been working as public relations specialists in the Costa del Sol and the UK for over a decade, generating amazing results for our clients by combining PR with other effective marketing methods. If you’re still unsure about the power of PR, or how you could apply it for your company please don’t hesitate to contact us and find out what we can do for you.
Shaw Marketing Services will bring years of PR & Marketing experience, knowledge and press contacts to your company. Together we can create the best PR Campaign to achieve your company’s objectives. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how we can help you.