We often say, any PR is good PR.
Public relations, or as we commonly say, PR, is one of the finest ways to create a positive vibe in potential customers and an effective tool to keep your brand in the spotlight.
You cannot ignore the power of good PR. This is because that can save your business from the worst possible business blunders you make. And, this is not something that we are suggesting, No!
Many top-notch business tycoons have vouched for PR being the ultimate tool to bridge the gap between your brand and your end-users.
Bill Gates of Microsoft once stated, “If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on PR.”
So did other entrepreneurs like him. For instance, Steve Jobs, Co-founder of Apple, agreed that “Ad campaigns are necessary for competition. But good PR educates people; that’s all it is.”
And, that’s all a good PR or any PR does.
You can look at what a good PR does to your brand or company – here’s an example.
In 2004, TV talk-show host Oprah Winfrey gave away a G6 to each of the 276 audience members in the show.
According to Statistics, “traffic to the Oprah.com Web site and GM’s Pontiac.com increased dramatically after the talk show host’s show aired on Monday.” In fact, “Pontiac experienced its heaviest traffic on the same day. That’s roughly 141,000 hits, which was approximately a 636% spike over its own Tuesday average. Both the websites also experienced increased numbers of visitors on Monday (the day of the actual giveaway). The Oprah website received 346,000 hits, and Pontiac logged 85,000 hits.”
We hope the example cleared your doubts about Public Relations.
If your answer is still no, then let’s see…
What Other Statistics have to Say
According to Researchers, “most large companies invest heavily in PR firms, usually $250,000 to $25 million annually.” That’s because “a news story about a product or service has six times the visibility and three times the credibility of an advertisement of the same size or length.”
That’s not all!
Most Americans rely on good PR coverage over ad campaigns to make their purchase decisions. Yes!
Research shows that 88% of Americans agreed to have visited the company’s website after “seeing placed stories through PR activity.”
If your potential customers trust a good PR over ad campaigns, what’s stopping you from harnessing its power? Sharing a positive message through proper PR coverage can change the game for your brand.
To answer this question, we must go back to the basics and exhibit how a good PR works.
Let’s break it down.
What is Public Relations?
As the name suggests, Public Relations, aka PR signifies a state of a good relationship between an organization and the public.
By Wikipedia, Public Relations is “the practice of deliberately managing the release and spread of information between an individual or an organization and the public to affect the public perception.”
For example, Apple’s WWDC and Google’s I/O are nothing more than state-of-the-art PR activities.
There’s a lot one can learn from Apple’s Public Relations.
The brand knows how to create a buzz in the market, increase speculation, foster demand, and win the market over. In short, Apple has the right recipe to dominate the media.
And that’s what Public Relations is all about.
Let’s understand how an excellent PR activity can save your business… or rather how PR can prove effective for your brand promotion.
#1: A Good PR Increases Brand Credibility
As mentioned in the Statistics above, a news report about your company and its upcoming products/services is more likely to push your consumers to call to action than conventional advertising.
The media will always seek you out and try to report on what’s happening next.
This is because people would like to know more about your company and what new products they can expect to choose from. A print report or a news broadcast works as a passive endorsement and easily wins over your consumers’ trust.
Ad campaigns fail to do this or take significant time to generate the desired outcome.
Any good PR can do this for your business.
#2: Fuel Speculation and Create Demand
That’s exactly what Apple does with its PR strategy.
Apple Inc. uses news media to create speculation among its consumers. Using teaser marketing campaigns, the company can maintain the suspense in the audience for a longer duration.
Secrecy is a long-term viable PR strategy that generates unprecedented consumer interest and maintains high demand for the upcoming product days before the launch and publicity campaigns begin.
This strategy gives every new product a built-in momentum.
#3: Save Your Brand from Worst Blunders
A well-thought PR strategy can work like a miracle and save your brand from the worst business blunders.
In business, crisis moments occur every time.
Such unwarranted events do not send out invitations or warnings. Instead, they happen and can take you off-guard. In addition, these events can tarnish your brand image and put you out of business for good.
That’s why most brands partner with experienced PR agencies. The latter’s responsibility is to save your business and clear your reputation during a crisis. An experienced PR professional offers hands-on assistance to pull your business out of the situation and guide you through post-event recovery.
Crisis management public relations work as insulation, protecting your brand from all the negative consequences of the event and helping you to move past the event as fast as possible.
Nevertheless, such crisis moments work as a silent stimulator and increase searches for your business on the world wide web, all for the wrong reasons. But, as we say, any publicity is good publicity; this negative news keeps your brand consistently in the spotlight.
But before these negative PRs escalate the matter for the worse for your company, an effective PR strategy can quickly change the direction of the wind and divert the public’s attention to something new and different.
This changed attention gives your business the much-needed window of opportunity to recover from the critical situation and come out as a winner in the eyes of your customers.
As soon as you give them a different topic to debate, your audience will quickly forget your company was in the news for all the wrong reasons a few days ago.
As mentioned earlier, one can learn how Apple’s strong PR strategy can turn a PR disaster into a boon-in disguise for the brand. How? See the next point!
#4: Create Scarcity to Create Increased Demand
Again, you can learn this by closely observing how Apple’s PR strategy works.
In 2020, amidst the pandemic, Apple’s iPhone 12 rollout was cut short by a shortage of power chips for the new phone. It was all over the news. What could have spelled a disaster for Apple eventually became a blessing in disguise.
And this is because Apple always follows the strategy of scarcity to create demand in the market.
According to luxury goods marketers like Apple, “scarcity, whether real or perceived, makes a product more desirable.”
After creating enough speculation in the market for the upcoming product, Apple brought down stocks in stores to a limited number of products on the product launch day.
Its initial PRs created enough speculation and high demand for the said product. Hence, hundreds of buyers flocked to the store queueing for hours for fear of missing out.
Such long queues attracted press attention and fostered free publicity for Apple.
The company capitalizes on its buyers’ FOMO (fear of missing out) behavior.
This standard practice, followed by Apple, saved it from a major crisis during the launch of the iPhone 12 in 2020. Its buyers never understood the crisis of power chip shortages was real and not another marketing stunt of the company.
#5: Create Brand Loyalty
Have you seen Apple’s ad campaigns and news coverages?
They are simple yet unique. The message is crisp yet clear.
That’s what the brand Apple is all about, and its value is well-reflected across PR coverages and ad campaigns. The brand culture has fostered a dedicated and passionate community of followers who identify with the brand’s cool, innovative, and simple values.
What Apple has successfully installed in the minds of its customers are the ‘us-versus-them sentiment, a feeling of exclusivity, and an ‘elite culture.’
The connection is strong between Apple and its dedicated customers, who fear the possibility of missing out on the latest gadgets even if it means they have to stand in long queues for hours.
And that’s exactly how a strong and well-thought-after PR strategy creates brand loyalty in your customers.
The power of PR strategy is immense!
It can make or break a brand for good. However, you cannot simply rely on ad campaigns and social media promotions to stay ahead of the competition. Instead, think about why Apple and Google constantly invest in PRs.
That’s because a good PR can move mountains and change the game for your business within minutes. But unfortunately, ad campaigns will probably take quite a bit of time, effort, and money to do the same but with minimal guarantee of getting customers to take call-to-action.
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