3 Reasons Why Businesses Should Invest in PR
The success of a modern business often depends on three crucial abilities: the ability to establish and maintain a good reputation, the ability to reach consumers with its products and services, and the ability to turn consumers into loyal customers.
There are, of course, many different strategies businesses can follow in order to achieve these objectives, but perhaps the most efficient and cost-effective of them is by securing earned media through a strategic public relations campaign.
Unlike advertising and other forms of marketing, public relations helps companies secure third party endorsements from journalists, industry experts and other credible influencers. Such coverage is often referred to as “earned media.” Most brand managers and even advertising experts agree that generating earned media through PR is the most cost-effective way to market a company and its products.
1. PR builds credibility
Research shows that more than 90 percent of consumers worldwide say that they trust word-of-mouth recommendations more than any type of advertising. An article written by a journalist about a company, product or service (a form of earned media) is at least three times more credible in the eyes of the reader than a similarly sized ad.
2. PR extends your reach
Data show that 25 to 40 percent of all website traffic to company websites is prompted by earned media. The advent of social media in recent years has also vastly increased earned media’s visibility and reach online. Today, consumers can easily share positive reviews and other information about a company and its products, generating discussion and increasing brand awareness, which leads to increased sales.
3. PR creates influence
In a 2013 study, global information and measurement company Nielsen found that PR-generated earned media is the most likely channel to influence consumer behavior. These findings are further supported by a recent white paper from Outsell, a research and advisory firm specializing in media, technology and data. According to Outsell, public relations is substantially more effective for generating leads than advertising.
Of course, strategic public relations campaigns may be more time-consuming and labor intensive than traditional advertising, but when it comes to building brand awareness, establishing credibility and fostering long-term relationships with customers, no other discipline delivers better ROI than public relations.