Many business owners and executives compare public relations with advertising. Yet, in reality, public relations is completely different. But, it’s still an important tool for businesses of all sizes.
The Difference Between Public Relations and Marketing
As business owners, we all know that marketing is the promotion of services and goods sold for profit. Public relations promote communication and goodwill between a business and its customers, Good PR helps to build relationships and should be included in any marketing strategy.
The Importance of Public Relations
As I’ve said, PR is As I’ve said, PR is crucial to all types and sizes of businesses. Building relationships help to increase credibility and promote the reputation of both the business owner and the business itself.
What’s Involved in Public Relations
To understand PR, it’s important to know what’s involved. While every business is different, and a PR strategy should be customized to the business these are the commonly used techniques.
Social Networking – Social media use is on the rise, and it’s a great PR tool. Use it to build relationships with potential customers and maintain them with existing customers.
Email Marketing – While this method is considered Internet marketing, it often plays a role in PR. Build a database of existing and potential customers, and send them emails about industry changes and new products or services.
Press Releases – These are an excellent way of informing the public about recent changes to a product line-up or changes related to a business as a whole.
Media Alerts – These are like press releases, but instead of providing information about business and product changes, business owners notify the media about upcoming events and conferences. This encourages reporters and photographers to attend, which provides exposure to the business.
Trade Shows – Trade shows allow businesses to develop their brand, build connections and generate interest in the company.
Understanding how these techniques work is only a small part of a good PR strategy. Implementing them can be a little more difficult and often involves an expert.
The Benefits of Public Relations
Setting up a public relations strategy is often described as one of the most cost-effective ways to raise brand awareness. It only takes a little time to distribute a press release or media alert and to develop a presence on social networking sites. And when done correctly, a business’s message or products are placed in front of prospective clients.
Because public relations present information via a third party such as an investor, reporter or existing customer and people are more likely to trust information from these sources it is the ideal tool to increase credibility. Compare that to the costs of using billboards, television, radio and other advertising methods and it’s easy to see why PR is so important.
To Sum It Up
All businesses need a good PR strategy regardless of their type or size. While it may be time-consuming, it’s much less expensive than traditional advertising and often reaches a much wider audience.
Josh Nass is a public relations executive and sought after crisis communications specialist. He regularly appears on Fox News, MSNBC and other leading media outlets to offer his expert commenta