Public Relations is a great way to help your company get noticed and to attract new customers. Like its sister function, marketing, PR uses a range of communications tools to relate your message to your key stakeholders, including prospects, customers, and business partners. But marketing and public relations advance different business goals, so you need to be clear about what your goals are before choosing which function to use.
Public relations is used to educate your audience on who your organization is and the value you bring to them. Marketing is used to proactively sell products and services to that audience.
For example, say you sell direct mail services that include print and email.
With PR, you can do several activities – presentations, articles, case studies, blog posts – to educate your audience on how marketers are using email and print together to achieve greater response rates in direct mail.
People who hear that PR message and say, “I think I should look into doing this with my own direct mail!” and will think of you as a provider because you were the one that helped them to understand it – you are the authority. Once they sign up to learn more, you can then use marketing - lead nurturing, email campaigns, special promotions – to get them to become a customer.
PR is a critical tool in helping you to stand out in a crowded marketplace. But before you can start any public relations program, you need to do some reflecting on who your organization is and what services you offer. This is an important step. It’s also one that is often overlooked by companies because it can be a time-consuming and sometimes difficult process. But the benefits of answering these questions go a long way in making your public relations program – and your business – successful.
In our next series of posts, we’ll take a look these questions you need to address before getting into PR.