In today’s dynamic world, public relations is crucial for all enterprises, irrespective of their size. Public Relations has become much more than damage control. It’s a proactive way of crafting a brand story and ensuring a sharper brand profile. A top-notch PR strategy is able to combine earned, owned, shared and paid media and use it effectively to build a strong brand narrative.
While large corporations have dedicated PR teams at their disposal, this is not the case with mid-cap or medium size companies who are focused on high returns for their investment into the business. Being at the center of the growth curve, where they focus on developing the business, increasing profits, market share and production turnover, many a times brand building as a strategy is missed. This is why hiring a PR company to handle their brand strategy and public relations is a good idea as it allows them to continue to focus on their core capabilities without losing out on building their brand.
As we advice as well Mid-Cap Companies (SMEs), we also list down four challenges they are facing when it comes to effective PR and how easily they can overcome them.
- We don’t have a communications team – Most companies want to focus on brand building, but they do not have the resources or people to make it happen. They might have one employee for all their marketing and communication needs, who is not enough to look at the bigger picture and develop a dedicated brand narrative that can be brought into public space. This lack of investment in PR can translate into a failure to assess situations where public relations could have helped build a stronger brand narrative. However, in such cases, hiring a PR firm can help mid-cap companies in developing strategic campaigns which can establish the brand better and lead to customer loyalty and brand growth.
- Isn’t PR expensive? – Most medium-sized businesses tend to measure things in cost and not returns. But the truth is that successful branding doesn’t have to bust the budget as long as one is allocated. Mid-cap companies can benefit from hiring PR companies that offer one-time, affordable packages, rather than a retainer. Having the right PR company by your side ensures that future costs of marketing and communication are significantly lowered. Eventually, the value that a good brand creates for a company measures more than the costs because PR leads to positive brand equity which pushes up market value.
- Isn’t a digital strategy enough? – The digital revolution has changed the way businesses are done and this reflects even in PR. The downside is that companies tend to believe that having a digital marketing employee with a fully optimized website and social media handles are more than enough to get visibility, leads and customers. That’s not always true. Having a web presence is just the tip of the iceberg. To differentiate yourself from numerous other businesses out there, you have to develop a customized marketing plan with a PR strategy included that helps increase brand recall and consumer base.
- We have enough credibility, we don’t need PR. That’s not true as the market is changing dynamically. Even if you have an old business, a family business that has been running for generations, you need to adapt to the new rules and find newer ways to make your brand visible and essential in the eyes of your prospective clients. PR aims to get credible sources in the media to talk about your brand and to bring it to the forefront.
- How do we measure a PR strategy’s effectiveness? – To make sure that it’s creating value out of your hard-earned money, PR impact has to be quantified and the results of a campaign must be measured. It’s possible and a good PR agency should be able to provide you with the right metrics and be able to analyse the results and translate it into visible returns for your company. Hiring a PR company that has a fully integrated digital background helps as your brand can reach a much wider audience and have improved visibility. With tools like Google Analytics, Open Site Explorer or SharedCount, digital PR’s success can also be measured precisely.
Making a brand trustworthy requires much effort and skill and should not be left to chance. This is where a dedicated PR company can help in brand management and all related aspects. For a medium-sized company or an established family business focused on success, the only way is up, but without the right PR partner, you can flounder in the dangerous waters of today’s dynamic markets.