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Dispelling PR myths

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Over the years, we’ve come across a myriad of misconceptions around what PR is and isn’t, how activity should be approached and implemented, and the scope of what it can achieve for organisations.

PR’s influence shouldn’t be underestimated when it comes to achieving your company’s goals and, with a strategic approach, it can get the right messages in front of the right customers/clients, establishing authority and trust in your brand.

Below, we look at some of the common misconceptions and explain the myriad of ways in which PR can help you raise brand awareness and generate demand for your product or service.

 

Myth #1: PR and media relations are one and the same

While media outreach is always a consideration when devising a PR strategy, it shouldn’t be deemed as the only way PR can be harnessed to spread your messages and engage existing and prospective customers.

Media coverage can certainly help tell your story, whether it be through a newsworthy press release, a c-suite interview, or inclusion in a relevant article. However, it’s one of many tactics that you can employ to position you in front of customers. For example, who are the key influencers in your sector already talking to your prospective customers and how could you strike up a partnership to get your brand in front of them? Or, how can you maximise your presence at a key industry event so that prospects sit up and take notice while they’re there?

The success of your PR activity all comes back to your strategy; what is your business trying to achieve, how can we segment your audience to craft messaging that really resonates and where are these audience groups consuming information so we can successfully engage with them and entice them to consider your offering.

 

Myth #2: PR will get my business in front of customers overnight

Unlike an ad that can be pushed live in a matter of minutes, PR tends to have a longer-lead time but is highly effective when combined with other marketing efforts.

While an ad might catch the attention of a prospect, a newspaper article that talks positively about your company will help to instil authority and trust when that prospective customer goes looking for more information about your business.

While you can’t be in full control of the timeline as it takes time to build relationships and you’re reliant on third parties communicating on your behalf, a well-devised strategy will ensure your activity is targeted so you’re laser focused on what will get you the results you’re after. An experienced PR professional will know the best route to success, and the pitfalls to avoid, helping you achieve your end goals more efficiently.

 

Myth #3: It’s hard to prove PR ROI

We hear this one a lot because there doesn’t tend to be one all-encompassing way to measure your PR efforts – short of a new customer telling you exactly where they came across you!

However, setting objectives at the outset will give you a benchmark to deliver against and then there are multiple ways to demonstrate the efficacy of your PR activity. This could include evaluating the reach and sentiment of your media coverage, monitoring spikes in your website traffic, analysing engagement on your social media channels, monitoring where new leads have come from, garnering feedback from stakeholders, and assessing how you stack up against your competitors.

 

PR is a powerful way to establish your reputation, build credibility, forge relationships, and complement sales and marketing, all crucial for sustainable growth.

If you’re looking to increase brand awareness to drive demand generation, email our PR & Comms Director, Jules Fisher, today at hello@merchant.agency.

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