An image is something that one has to work hard to build throughout their lifetime, and just like a personal brand needs to maintain a reputable reputation, companies do too in order for them to acquire a loyal fan base and become advocates of whatever product or service they are promoting. Public Relations and Marketing Campaigns are not mutually exclusive. In fact, a solid PR strategy is key to the success of any major marketing initiative whether is offline or online.
When many people think of Public Relations, the first thing that comes to mind is press. Yes, a PR campaign does indeed cover media relations, after all the term was coined by the press itself during the first world war, which helped stimulate the development of public relations as a profession. According to Wikipedia, many of the first PR professionals, including Ivy Lee, Edward Bernays, John W. Hill, and Carl Byoir, got their start with the Committee on Public Information (also known as the Creel Committee), which organized publicity on behalf of U.S. objectives during World War I through the means of media.” But, nowadays Public Relations consists more than just a well developed media campaign, there are many other initiatives that go into it.
Nowadays, in a world where consumers are bombarded with new products and services to like every day, it is imperative that all aspects of a PR campaign are taken into consideration. To understand what value a PR Consultant/ Publicist brings to a marketing campaign, companies, small businesses and personal brands, need to learn what it entails (since so many don’t). A PR campaign not only helps a company promote their product within the media, but helps a company grow and manage their brand by exercising some of the following: media relations, strategic messaging development, crisis communication, creative direction and messaging for advertisement and marketing, innovative initiatives, special events, grassroots marketing, relationship building and influencer outreach. Though, this is a more narrowed down list, of what can be done in a successful PR initiative, it is something that can be applied to any small, medium or big marketing campaign.
Another thing to take into consideration when looking to include PR into one’s marketing plan, is who they choose to go with. When choosing a PR agency or Publicist, it is imperative to keep in mind if this person is an influencer. One of the most valuable assets that a PR consultant attains is his/her rolodex of contacts. Why is this important? Well, because: 1) most reporters tend to publish stories of people they know; 2) they can manage budgets and set realistic goals by reaching out to their networks; 3) they will most likely become advocates of the brand and promote it to their broad extensive network, which is something they’ve all worked hard to grow through their careers. The larger their influential network is, the better for your brand. Without it, how else would you know if you are delivering the right message of your brand to the right target market?
Like Warren Buffet once said, “It takes 20 years to build a reputation and five minutes to ruin it. If you think about that, you’ll do things differently.” So, if you’re a small to medium business, start up company or person looking to grow an audience, the first thing that should be re-valued when setting up a marketing campaign is the power of integrating PR. A brand’s reputation can build itself with time, if it’s good enough. But, with the rise of social media and the internet who has 20 years to do this?