Public relations is establishing a relationship of communication and cooperation between a business and its audience. And today, with the dominance of digital marketing, public relations evolve to mix its classical strategies with modern techniques to reach audiences online too.
Public relations aims to create awareness of your brand in online or offline environments, and their objective is the following:
- Transmit a clear, transparent and trustworthy image of your business.
- Achieve fluent internal communication and improve relations with workers.
- Highlight special events.
- Promote interest in a product.
Digital marketing vs public relations: where do you draw the line?
Public relations is a broader concept because it includes offline marketing techniques, and especially, inform your public about your brand through press releases, speeches, conferences, social events, etc. And they have some key differences such as:
- Communication source. Digital marketing is responsible for the online sphere, focusing on social media and web development, while public relations, on the other hand, combine print publications and social events. However, the public relations strategy includes both traditional and modern marketing tools.
- Results measurement. When quantifying the impact of both channels, their metrics have different goals. While public relations focus more on increasing brand awareness, digital marketing focuses more on increasing traffic and ROI.
In short, digital marketing and public relations work with different criteria of success but satisfy a common goal, that is, increase the overall credibility of a brand. In any case, public relations partially moved to the digital world to respond to the changes of their targets.
Branding and public relations
Public relations concentrate on the management of the business image by sharing relevant information to improve reputation. However, branding is the first step in public relations because your public relations campaigns won’t have any effect if you don’t have a clear brand. Branding allows you to take control of the intangible aspects of your business, and later, public relations will help you create a positive reputation for your business.
That’s why branding and public relations may require separate teams and strategies, but to make the most of them, they must work together to build the image of your business and be more effective.
Public relations strategies and their importance for your business
Maintaining good relations with the media is a win-win relationship because your business gets visibility and the press gets good stories to tell. So, the task of public relations, in this case, is providing useful and interesting information to journalists and influencers. For this reason, you need a public relations plan.
When entrepreneurs create a business plan, they often include advertising but forget to include public relations, which is one of the most profitable methods to start building awareness of their brand if you take into account that, in most cases, public relations are less expensive than advertising. So, how can you define your public relations plan?
1. Identify your target audience
In marketing, there is no action without research. Before defining any action in our plan, you must establish your objectives and the image you want to convey.
Identifying your target audience includes customers, potential customers, suppliers, community members, employees and every stakeholder. Organize them in a database that includes the information of each contact because you may reach out later and send them invitations, reminders and thanks.
2. Develop the strategies of the public relations plan
Planning events to spread relevant information about your product and services is a great way for developing your public relations plan. So, a classic strategy is inviting your customers to a business dinner or social event.
For example, if your strategy is promoting the opening of a new building for your business, you can host an opening event, inviting local media and potential clients for a cocktail.
3. Focus on reporters
If you manage to influence the 10 most important people in your industry, they will influence everyone else. So, identify the journalists or bloggers who will make a difference in your business. Follow them on Twitter, read their articles, and learn what they consider important. Reach out to them in a personalized way to start a meaningful conversation.
4. Create a budget for your public relations plan
Hosting events are less expensive than advertising in general, but it needs a sufficient budget for unexpected expenses. For example, it’s possible to schedule a business meal and more people show up. In this scenario, you should have a budget for extra expenses.
5. Be social for an hour a day
If you want to "hook up" with clients, journalists and influencers on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, and other social networks, then spend at least an hour a day promoting yourself on these networks. Post timely and courteous posts and be receptive to comments.
Also, manage your business’s social networks serving your users and potential new clients, as well as resolving complaints, publishing content, calls, sending emails, etc. Public relations plays a key role in your network strategy since all the content that gives value to your company and your products are present in these networks.
The evaluation phase is useful for adapting your strategy to the feedback. In other words, analyze the complaints and compliments you received in order to capture suggestions for improvements and assess whether you achieved your objectives.
When a brand comes in contact with its audience, it stops being an abstract entity and becomes a "person" with specific behavior, attitudes and interests. For this reason, public relations give your business a unique personality in tune with the expectations of your target audience.
Take advantage of the new possibilities of combining digital marketing and public relations and make your business grow with a solid strategy for the long-term… And no need to be afraid. Just contact us and your business will launch like a rocket!