Why some big organizations still do not believe in PR?
Every business worth its salt today recognizes the important role public relations play in its development. However, some businesses, particularly big organizations that have already established a name for themselves, often find themselves questioning the need for activating any PR at all.
It may be that most of them just have a vague understanding of what PR is. They may have a rough idea about what PR entails and the benefits it brings, but very few understand the true impact of PR. Unlike a startup that needs all the public attention that it can get, a deeply-rooted company is already out there in the market, making its millions and possibly expanding into new territories. So why PR?
The answer to that question is simple: The job of a PR firm varies with the size of the organization it is working for. A business that is just starting needs PR to put it under the spotlight, whereas a big organization, having proved it credibility, needs PR assistance to maintain that impeccable reputation and protect the company from any potential crises. In order to do that, a PR professional must be able to spot any trouble before it blows up, and address media queries in time. In other words, for bigger organizations, PR is more about managing the press they are already getting than about jostling for any media coverage at all.
Another reason for big companies to ignore PR is that they may be more inclined toward advertising and marketing. Allotting much of the marketing budget for advertising is often thought to be enough for building brand awareness. However, the truth is PR is more efficient and economical than traditional advertising.
Paid advertisement is the company representing itself whereas PR is about a third person or an intermediary saying something about the company, with the latter clearly enjoying more credibility than any paid advertisement. An influencer’s “sponsored” post about a product may not be trusted as much as the same influencer’s honest review about a product the company sends her in a PR package. Similarly, a company CEO being quoted as a source in a newspaper article is more beneficial for the company than the CEO’s announcement in a full-page ad in the same newspaper. The former is PR while the latter is not.
Moreover, there is a love-hate relationship between marketing and PR. Although often lumped together because of their similar actions and tactics, both have different goals – marketing is concerned with promotion and sales of a certain product whereas PR aims at maintaining a positive reputation for the company as a whole. In fact, public relations is one of the most effective ways to build on marketing strategies and create a solid reputation. Therefore, one cannot exist without the other and both marketing and PR are at their best when used together.
Furthermore, in cases of economic uncertainty in the country or when an organization undertakes austerity measures, big companies have a tendency to view PR as a luxury, slashing their budget to accommodate other needs. However, it is possible to hire a PR consultant within a specific budget and the many benefits of efficient PR outweigh its cost in the long run.
Also, many larger firms generally have a communications department that is tasked with the responsibility of writing and sending out press releases. However, these departments may lack the contacts or tactics that a PR professional has, and thus with no proper media pitching or known editorial contact to depend on, there is a greater chance of their press releases getting lost in the heap of other content that media editors regularly receive.
The business of PR operates through various trusted intermediaries to communicate with the audience and influence them. Those intermediaries may include industry spokespersons, stock analysts, investors, trend setters, industry analysts, customers, employees, and others. Typically, businesses have very little control over the media or these influencers, hence the need for PR to connect one with another.
PR experts can identify the best channels and people to spread a company’s message to the target audience and maximize their reach.
Whatever the size of the company, with the right PR assistance, brands have a much higher chance of reaching the desired audience effectively.
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