What is public relations?
Every business, whether large or small, relies on their reputation for success. Public relations allows businesses to create a narrative for their business which supports and improves their reputation with their customers, the media, suppliers and investors. Each of these stakeholders will have an opinion about your business and public relations helps to drive their decisions about whether or not to work with you.
It’s important for businesses, especially SMEs, to build strong relationships with their stakeholders. In competitive markets, public relations can be a deciding factor in whether a stakeholder chooses you over your competitor.
What does it mean for smaller and medium businesses?
When people think about public relations, they often think of large companies and public figures. In reality, every business and organisation, no matter their size, has a public image and should create a public relations strategy. In fact, many small businesses will already be establishing their image, sometimes without even realising it. Everything you do as a company will impact your brand’s image with your stakeholders so having a strategy in place will help control the narrative and allow you to decide your brand’s image in your marketplace.
Here are our top reasons why digital PR can support small businesses.
1. Create and improve brand awareness
Your business has so much to offer to your stakeholders and customers. By creating a digital PR strategy, you will have complete control over your brand image and where awareness of your brand will be seen. Positive online PR provides great exposure as many of your customers will be one click away from discovering your brand and the things you have to offer. This can also be shared across platforms, further increasing your brand awareness.
2. Improve your presence in your local community (and wider)
As the name suggests, public relations allows you to build strong relationships with your stakeholders and customers. With positive PR, customers feel connected with your brand and are more likely to shop with you over your competitors when they feel connected to you. They’re also more likely to recommend you to their friends or family and regularly return to you.
3. Cost effective
Public relations, especially digital PR, can be incredibly affordable. Building relationships with local media and influencers and gaining coverage on their channels will allow you to improve your reach with customers and stakeholders. It is also often cheaper than many marketing and advertising strategies.
4. Builds relationships with local media
Your local media have a huge influence in your local area so it’s important to build good relationships with them so they are more likely to run positive pieces about your business. It also improves the likelihood of them using your press release on their channels. These good relationships will also help in the event of negative publicity about your business. If you have a good relationship with your local media, they are more likely to run positive pieces to help mitigate any negative press.
With many consumers shopping online, a digital PR strategy can help turn clicks into sales. By creating a strategy that establishes your business as a positive, trustworthy and reputable brand, customers will be more inclined to shop with you and return again and again. They’re also more likely to recommend you to their friends and family. Digital PR is not a one off task and to see worthwhile results, you need to create a strategy that utilises multiple channels with relevant content.
6. Creates a trustworthy brand customers are likely to use
PR is the best way to build brand reputation. However, it isn’t enough to use your own channels to establish your brand as trustworthy. Many consumers now rely on third parties to validate their beliefs. By working with media and influencers, they can help reinforce the positive reputation of your brand and encourage customers to use you over your competitors. This will establish credibility and allow you to be the go-to business in your market.
7. Supports your marketing strategy
Your marketing strategy should work alongside your PR strategy to help your business to grow. Creating trust, awareness and credibility are activities that your marketing strategy can’t achieve. Digital PR supports your marketing efforts and can demonstrate your real rapport with customers.
8. Improve your search engine rankings
PR can have a huge boost on your search engine optimization. By having positive content for your brand across various media platforms, you can increase the number of positive results that search engines pull up when customers and stakeholders search for your business online. By staying at the top of search results, customers will be more likely to use you over your competitors. Positive results will also encourage them that you’re a respectable and trustworthy business to use.
Purple Orbit can help you create, build and implement your digital PR strategy. Find out more on how we can help you today.
Tue, 08 August 2023