Understanding PR: Why is it so important?

By Sarah O’Mahoney, account manager.

PR is one of those things that everyone has heard of but many can’t describe. Ask a student what they think PR is and they’d probably say handing out flyers on a street corner and even the savviest of businessmen who know that PR is a fantastic resource for their company struggle to explain why. They know that it generates results but how remains a mystery.

At the core of PR is communications. In a crowded and competitive market place, having a PR team behind you that is persistently cutting through the noise of competitors will get your voice heard by the right people, ensuring that everybody knows your name.

PR in a sales setting helps to build credibility and good will, creating a soft landing for companies in as much as when sales people are ringing up they are not making a cold call – you’ve already warmed the prospective client through a PR campaign that informs the market as to your products and services.

You know you’ve got a winning product but how do you get people to buy into you?

You can have the best product in the world but if people don’t know who you are and what you are about then you’re swimming against the tide. This is where PR comes in to play.

Your PR team will work alongside you to shape your brand proposition and put you on a pedestal as an industry expert that outshines your competitors in every way. By creating a compelling brand message that breeds trust and integrity you will remove any doubts that potential clients may have about working with your company.

Public relations is not only crucial in winning business but also in attracting the top level staff that every business needs in order to grow. Contrary to what many people may think, the employer does not choose the employee, it is the employee who chooses who they want to work with and in order to attract the best, you have to be seen as the best. The foremost way to do this is to create a culture within the business that encourages, nurtures and allows for personal development and then you need to promote this extensively.

PR people tell a great story. We do it at every opportunity and for good reason. Facts, figures and statistics, they’re cold and uninspiring. You need people to like you and want to work with you and the best way to do this is by using a story-driven campaign that helps communicate the spirit of your brand in ways that engage and evoke an emotional response.

In a world where there are so many diluted messages going out you need to have clarity and simplicity in your communication. Working alongside a PR team you will pick out your key messages and values and not only will it help others to better understand what it is that is at the core of your business, you might be surprised to find out that you too will gain a clearer clarity on your mission and how to get there.