Don’t make PR an afterthought!

By: Cole Buergi, Leoanrd & Finco Public Relations

When developing your plan of action for growing your business, be sure PR is a key part of the planning process and not just an afterthought tied to marketing.
Far too often, PR is directly associated with marketing and doesn’t get the full consideration it should for the benefits it can provide. Yes,

marketing and PR are often complementary, but the two are very different, yet important components, and should be treated as such.
Similar to marketing, PR can be used to help influence your audience. The difference being marketing uses paid advertising in the form of print; television; radio; direct mail or social media, which can be very effective.
PR often uses many of the same media, but in a much different fashion. Our goal is to generate interest by reporters to cover the information as a news story. In doing so, reporters provide third party validation to the topic being covered. It’s similar with social media but the third party validators are a much broader group, not only including reporters, but also customers who use your product.
As for measuring success, it’s often easier to see a direct link between a marketing campaign and sales increases. However, a good PR campaign generates strength to a brand, creates connections between the company and its stakeholders. And yes, good PR helps generate sales.
And, if you ever have “It hit the fan”, you’ll definitely want to make sure your PR team is at the decision making table, and not a group that is provided with the details after all the decisions have been made. The reason is PR professionals are in tune with not only the company but also its audiences and can provide the valuable insight needed to best approach a situation.
Does your company include a PR team member during its planning process? If it doesn’t, why not?