Why Public Relations can make or break a business in times of uncertainty.
Why Public Relations can make or break a business in times of uncertainty
History has demonstrated that continued Public Relations and marketing tactics, including full-fledged campaigns, can be a catalyst for long-term growth in an economic downturn.
Challenges usher in pivotal questions. How are world events impacting my organization? How do we attract or retain employees? What is the state of the economic climate and what can we do to protect ourselves? These are some of the basic questions when facing any crisis - but they also usher in opportunities.
The next few months will undoubtedly be trying for many companies, including startups, business owners, and entrepreneurs. However, PR, branding, and marketing tactics are integral facets of any communications plan and should be prioritized. Too many organizations overlook internal and external communications when tackling new challenges.
Why invest in PR, anyway?
Public Relations shows that you are still active and communicating with your stakeholders. It gives the public, your clients, stakeholders, and investors hope that you are committed to improving, building, and updating your products or services and that you are transparent.
It also demonstrates good faith and a willingness to put yourself out there for the good of your community. Keeping your brand out there through public relations, thought leadership articles, interviews, commentary, speaking engagements, or awards nominations is one of the least expensive and most ingenious ways to share insights and educate the public.
PR is an easy tool to shed light on problems and solutions both in your industry and in the marketplace. You want to increase your brand awareness? Write an article and collaborate with your PR partner so they can publish it in either mainstream media or in an industry publication. Journalists enjoy reading a good entrepreneurial story and they want to know what problems you are working on and why.
Communication is key. It is important to communicate all the time - with the press, clients, partners, across social media, with your internal team, and investors – you make it. It's what we learn in times of uncertainty that the public looks for as they experience unpredictability.
Internal communications tactics include everything from letters from the CEO to a newsletter to videoconferences and messages on collaboration platforms. It may not be as obvious as securing media interviews, but PR teams can assist in developing these assets to ensure messaging is informative and consistent. PR teams can also lead the communications development and roll-out, providing spokesperson training, developing a crisis communications plan, and more.
Integrated PR Strategy
An external PR strategy is important but will fail if it’s not built in tandem with internal communication strategies. Employees are the heart of your business and need to be kept in the loop, particularly when information is changing quickly. The more things change, the more in sync internal and external communications need to be.
Shout it from the Mountain Tops: Social Media
It pays to build trust and credibility with your clients and customers, and the most direct way to do so is through social media. You can directly engage with your audience, give real-time updates, and address questions.
It pays to build trust and credibility with your clients and customers --
Internal communications ensure your employees are informed and on board; integrated PR strategies ensure the media are informed; and social media goes straight to the customer to ensure they can find what they’re looking for, regardless of if they turn on the news.
This work remains important today especially. But - alignment can’t be rushed – don’t jump the gun to give updates to customers when internal audiences aren’t ready and up to speed.
The future is uncertain. We all know that by now. Being open and honest with your employees, your customers, and yourselves pays off.