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How PR Can Help Businesses

May 15, 2024

Terry Stanton PR Manager

Written by
Terry Stanton

man looking at phone for news on Advantage Media

Raising awareness about your business is more important, and difficult, than ever before, as many voices compete for the same space. Increasing your brand’s profile can help boost your businesses, and PR is an essential component of an effective communications strategy.

A strategic PR plan does more than just raise your profile. Public Relations elevates your message in a way that resonates with your audience. Earned media coverage increases your Authority and lets potential clients know you are a trusted provider of whatever product or service they are seeking.

How PR Can Help Your Brand

Public relations isn’t just about sending out press releases. PR professionals shape and build narratives that connect you with your target audience. Here are some ways PR helps you give your business a boost.

Build Trust and Credibility

Being quoted in reputable media outlets positions you as an Authority and a trusted leader in your field. You and your brand get a credibility boost when a reporter uses you as a source. This implied endorsement of you and your brand is the gold standard of PR.

For example, as a result of our PR efforts, one of our members was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article. He says that this placement helped seal the deal on securing funding to grow his company.

Shape Your Brand Narrative

Sharing your brand’s story creates a connection between you and your audience. With PR, you can craft the messaging that shapes how your brand is perceived. You control the narrative and draw attention to the messaging that you think is important, focusing on what differentiates you from your competitors.

We place our thought leaders at the forefront of trending news in their field. In addition to being quoted in articles, our members also receive opportunities to write exclusive articles and opinion pieces. These articles can reinforce your brand’s story.

Manage Reputation

Reputation management is a special service that PR professionals can offer when your brand is in crisis mode. However, the best strategy to manage your reputation is one that’s in place before it takes a hit. Having a reputation as a trusted source and Authority that is above reproach is one of the best ways to get in front of a crisis before there’s an incident.

Generate Buzz with New Initiatives

PR is a critical component of your marketing and communications strategy when you launch a new product or service. Giving media contacts a head’s up about your new offering can generate buzz and amplify the impact of your new initiative.

Recruit Top Talent

A strong PR program doesn’t just attract customers—it can also help recruit top talent to your organization. When your business is featured positively in the media, it makes your company look more prestigious and desirable to work for.

Internal or External PR?

Where should you turn for PR services? You can either build an in-house PR team or you can find and partner with an external Public Relations agency. Both paths have pros and cons, so let’s look at some advantages and disadvantages of both.

In-House PR Teams

Having an internal group of PR professionals who understand your company culture, goals, and messaging is tempting. After all, because they work exclusively for you, they will have an ingrained knowledge of your business. They can respond quickly to emerging opportunities or challenges. Also, there is no lag time between contract and execution in order to educate the team on your plans and objectives.

However, there are downsides to having an in-house PR team, including onboarding and salary costs. Plus, you may run across PR objectives that go beyond your team’s scope of expertise. This could make it necessary to train existing employees or hire additional internal or external team members to support the initiatives.

External PR Agencies

Outsourcing your PR needs to an external agency comes with many benefits.

You’ll have access to professionals with expertise in a wide range of PR disciplines. This allows you to benefit from their knowledge in certain areas, like earned media pitching, event planning, speaker engagement, and more. You’ll benefit from an outside perspective that is not hindered by internal bias.

Some downsides to hiring an external team include not having complete control in day-to-day PR activities. You may also need to look out for agencies that provide a “one size fits all” approach that may not align with your business objectives.

Ultimately, the option you choose depends on the scale of your public relations needs, your budget, and your vision for the future. Companies with multi-faceted PR needs and ongoing new initiatives may use a mix of the two. This includes an in-house strategist who oversees brand marketing and messaging and an external agency that offers specialized expertise and targeted media outreach. It’s a combination that offers the best of both worlds.

Difference Between PR and Marketing

We just mentioned that marketing often goes hand-in-hand with public relations. Often, marketing and PR can be confused for one another, but they are very different.

Marketing and paid advertising works by increasing brand awareness through paid promotions. PR enhances the trust of your brand by elevating its reputation through earned media placements and positive mentions.

Pros and Cons of PR vs Advertising?

With PR, you can reach different audiences every time your story is shared. Additionally, you reap the benefits of having an unbiased third-party source endorse your brand and increase trust.

One negative is that you have less control over when and if your story gets coverage or what is written. PR also takes consistent effort to find story angles that revolve around your messaging.

One example of a successful PR campaign is Dove’s “Real Beauty” campaign. The brand’s messaging that features women of different ethnicities, body types and ages continues to generate positive media coverage about body positivity. Dove created even more buzz recently when it announced that it would never use AI-generated models in its advertising efforts.

With marketing and advertising, you have more control of your message and can get it in front of your ideal customers. You also have control over timing, messaging, delivery, and more. On the negative side, there are costs to advertising, and the competitive nature and cost of grabbing the attention of your target market may not fall within your business metrics if your target audience is highly sought after.

Ultimately, the answer to the question of how best to determine the mix between PR and paid advertising depends on many factors including your goals, audience, budget and timing. The right combination of PR and paid advertising creates top-of-funnel awareness and lead generation that can convert into sales.

How Can Advantage Forbes Books PR Services Help Your Business?

The PR team at Advantage Media comprises communications professionals with expertise in newspaper reporting, broadcast journalism, television production, book writing, publishing, and more. We can deliver public relations services that increase your profile and Authority.

We are data-driven and can offer you insights into what’s working with your brand Authority, and recommendations for improvement. Our targeted strategies maximize the impact of your PR campaign and can increase your visibility as the expert in your field.

Terry Stanton PR Manager

Terry Stanton

PR Campaign Manager

For Terry, it’s all about the message, and with an award-winning career that includes broadcasting, video production, digital marketing, and public relations, that’s not surprising. She began as a TV anchor and reporter, then moved into corpor...

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