GUIDE • 4 mins

How To Know When It’s Time To Incorporate Public Relations

Lauren Fialkow

When looking to expand a company or industry, public relations plays an integral role in its growth, expansion and awareness. In order to determine whether your company needs a good PR push, it's important to understand the concept itself.

Even more pertinent for newer companies, public relations convey more information to your desired audience and create mutually beneficial relationships between companies and their audiences. Audience and public trust are specifically important for a new company, and PR assists in building a company’s reputation.

As opposed to advertisements, which is paid media, public relations is earned media, which means that it is achieved when someone shares or contributes content on your business's behalf, and trust is built between the public and the company. This trust occurs because the public has a voice in the production of the media; it is not developed directly from the company. There may be more risks with earned media because the media controls the final word that is said. For example, fake news has become increasingly present in the media within the last few years, deliberately circulating false information or hoaxes through traditional news media and social media. Public relations, for example, can help combat this by protecting and steering the media in a positive and truthful direction. 

Public relations is crucial in creating organic contact between a business and its audience. Earned media in the form of PR can be press releases, interviews, product reviews, influencer mentions, and organic or direct traffic. All of these examples are produced by third-party entities, rather than an advertisement that is directly paid for by the company. Advertising also clearly demonstrates how a company wants to be perceived. In contrast, an audience perceives public relations with more trust and credibility.

Public relations reach extends to websites, mobile sites, blogs, and social media. PR can assist a company from writing and distributing press releases to expanding business contacts. Many of the tasks related to public relations focus on a company’s communication to both other organizations and potential customers. So, PR manages the spread of information from a company to potential customers and the general public. 

Public relations brings together the melting pot of communications as well as other marketing tactics that truly drive a company's success. PR can help in many areas but specifically in marketing and communications. Public relations can help in raising awareness, drawing in new customers, building relationships between the company and potential customers, boosting brand visibility, and improving a company’s reputation. When referring to communications, public relations can refine a company’s message, plan events, compose news releases, assist in customer services, write media pitches, and create presentations. 

The public supports companies that uphold good morals, produce quality products, and value integrity. PR helps bring these ideas to the public’s attention in order to demonstrate that your company has these qualities.

So, when is it time to start thinking about how public relations can help your company? Here are some topics to keep in mind when starting to bring ing a strong PR presence for your company.

Learn how to adapt to the changing world of media.

PR can help with the changing world of media and its ever-evolving nature. “Fake news” and misinformation spreads like wildfire, lessening the trust between the public and media outlets. This is where PR can be extremely helpful. Contemporary PR programs are stressing the benefits of analytics, coding, and video production. The importance of these new skills can help navigate a company through the blurred lines between paid and earned media. PR can help companies create content that is unique and different. So, understanding the world of media, especially earned media, is essential in understanding the importance of PR.

Know when it is the time to create more awareness about your brand.

If your brand is new, chances are it could benefit from more publicity. If your brand has been around for awhile but is not receiving the recognition that it should, PR will also be helpful in creating more brand awareness. When wanting to stimulate buzz and promote positive exposure, public relations is the best tactic to turn to. Public relations assists in protecting, enhancing, and building reputations. This is essential for a company that is just starting out. This can also be helpful for a company that is already established but needs to change the public’s opinion of its image. Public relations can take a lesser-known or not currently prominent company and positively shape the company or brand’s image.

Small businesses or new businesses should definitely consider PR.

A good public relations team can really help lesser-known small businesses and new businesses that want to get their brand in the public eye. Public relations can help a business define its brand and image, making it communicable to the public. A brand’s message is truly important for any size business because the message is what the public first sees and notices about your company. PR may be a good idea sooner than your company may think. Brand messages should remain consistent so customers will recognize your company. It is helpful to implement strong PR pushes from the beginning to keep brand consistency. Also, small businesses may have trouble getting their name in the spotlight, which is where public relations could absolutely help. 

Make sure your company is ready for public relations.

It could be helpful to incorporate public relations when your business is new but only if your business is ready for considerable attention. A newly launched business is not always ready for fame. A big PR push could actually hinder your business rather than help it if your company is not prepared. Public relations is meant to produce major coverage for your company, which means that your products may be requested in high demand. If a PR push is successful, it is important to make sure your company has the funds and merchandise to produce the proceeding high demand.

Underline the “relationships” in public relations.

Relationships may be at the heart of any public relations push. Your company should have a good idea of who the target customer is from the beginning. After establishing your target consumer, your company can then start focusing efforts on successful PR pushes. These business and PR relationships need to be positive and genuine so that customers trust your company. In order to truly captivate these relationships, the professionals whose jobs are to develop these relationships need to be engaging and reliable. Relationships may be the most important aspect of public relations, so if you understand how to build these relationships, you may be ready to start a new big PR push!

Whether you are a small company or a successful, name-brand business, public relations can be the most useful tool in creating a powerful brand image and generating positive public awareness.