How to use strategic pr to drive growth

How to use strategic public relations to drive growth

PR is one of the most powerful tools in business. As consumers become more interested in building authentic relationships with brands, public relations have become critical to convey key messages, the brand’s stories and much more.

Positive media attention can build trust, improve credibility, drive growth and cement a company’s future. PR efforts, however, can only be successful with an effective PR strategy.

Developing a strategic PR plan

The most effective public relations strategies are newsworthy and creative. They drive positive attention towards the business and communicate a clear message to the audience.

Rather than pushing out content and hoping for the best, strategic public relations will give you an actionable plan. It will help you keep track of how your plan is performing, with specific, measurable goals.

It will also give you control, allowing you to become the driver of the conversation, not just a participant. Here are some of the ways you can use strategic public relations to boost your brand.

Understand your audience

Strategic communication and public relations can only be successful if you understand who you’re communicating with. Identifying your target audience is the first step to building positive relationships with them.

These days, consumers want a brand to provide them with a personal experience. It’s not enough to know basic demographical information such as their age and location. You have to know and understand your target audience to build messages that will resonate with them. You have to know what they like and dislike, and what they’re looking for.

You also have to know that your audience might not all be the same. PR will allow you to prioritise different markets to get your brand in front of the right audience.

Define your PR goals

Strategic public relations involves careful planning and a firm focus on your goals and objectives. The most important part of your strategy is to set clear goals that can be measured.

Marketing and PR teams use the SMART method to ensure they’re using quantifiable indicators to determine success. SMART is an acronym that stands for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Realistic
  • Timely

By using the SMART method in your strategic public relations campaigns, you’ll target a specific audience. You’ll also be able to set achievable, realistic goals that can be measured by a certain timeframe. The SMART method will help your team identify areas of improvement and build better strategies in the future.

Media relations

Successful public relations campaigns are built on strong media relations. In particular, the press release is your golden goose. Your press release has to be newsworthy, well-written, interesting and to the point.

Getting the attention of the media, however, takes more than a well-written article. Thinking like a reporter also means making contacts and building a long-term relationship based on mutual advantage.

Establishing media relations with journalists and media outlets can help get your story in front of the right people. Maintaining those relationships can help with future outreach.

Leverage social media

One of the best ways to build a positive public perception of your brand is to leverage social media. It can provide your business with free marketing that can reach millions of people. It can also help you tailor your messaging to a varied audience.

Consumers are turning to social media as a way to research the brands they love and foster authentic relationships. This is what makes it the ideal place to talk about corporate responsibility, which is important for consumers. In fact, 77% of consumers are motivated to purchase from companies committed to making the world a better place.

Creating relevant, engaging content online that highlights your story can help you raise awareness of your brand. Behind the scenes stories containing raw, authentic content can help you cultivate authentic, impactful connections.

Create compelling content

The press release still remains one of the most powerful tools in strategic communications and PR. But press releases and good writing alone can’t help you build your business.

Digital advancements have made it possible to reach all sorts of people in all sorts of ways. One of the best tactics at your disposal is content marketing.

With a strong strategy, content marketing can work all sorts of wonders for your PR campaign. It can help you stand out from the competition, get in front of the right people, and build engagement.

Content marketing can provide you with a necessary digital footprint, which can establish your brand. It’s also beneficial for your content to appear higher on search engine results. 93% of cases suggest that the B2B buying process begins with an online search.

A good content and PR strategy should go hand in hand. While content helps you share your brand’s story, public relations helps get that story in front of the right people.

Manage your reputation

Strategic public relations cannot be effective without reputation management. Perhaps you have a great product, for example, but supply issues have caused problems with deliveries. Your customers may leave your business a few bad reviews because your delivery times are unreliable.

Negative reviews can create a negative impression of your business that will be hard to change. It’s important to make sure your online reputation isn’t impacted by an issue that may go away with time.

Reputation management may involve answering messages promptly, diffusing negative feedback and keeping your customers satisfied. It may also involve putting out a press release, issuing an email apology or adding a disclaimer to your website.

Answering reviews and speaking directly with your customers will encourage relationship-building and foster a sense of community. It’s also important for customer service, which is another element that’s crucial for business growth. In fact, 93% of consumers are likely to make repeat purchases if they’ve had a good customer service experience.

Crisis management

As a business owner, you will inevitably face some sort of PR crisis. It may be through no fault of your own. All you can do is attempt to minimise the damage by having an iron-clad crisis management plan in place.

It takes 20 years to build a reputation, as Warren Buffet would say, and just five minutes to ruin it. Having a crisis management strategy in place will help insulate your business from further damage. It will also help you move past the issue as quickly as possible.

 

Do you need a PR strategy that will supercharge your growth in 2023? We can help you realise your ambitions. Contact the team today at [email protected].