“Advertising is what you pay for; publicity is what you pray for.”
In our last post, we discussed the differences between marketing and PR, what good PR looks like, and how PR can boost your marketing as a whole.
In this post, we discuss four concrete benefits of taking on a long-term PR strategy in your communications.
1. Building brand awareness
Do people know who you are and why you make that amazing, industry-revolutionizing product? Do people even care?
With a well-formed PR strategy that targets the right audience, they will. By getting the right mentions in reputable media outlets, your brand is placed in front of new audiences that wouldn’t otherwise be possible with other marketing channels. This usually requires a long-term approach and a ton of effort, but it’s worth it.
Appealing to everyone may sound like a great idea, but you may alienate everyone in the process. By narrowing down your target media, your PR efforts are more likely to be rewarded with quality earned media coverage that builds your brand among the right target groups.
Because your story is being shared by trusted journalists, others will also begin to share and talk about your news, creating awareness. Awareness helps to attract the attention of new customers, top talent for recruitment, future investors, as well as prospective partners.
2. Gaining credibility
Aside from raising awareness, PR is a really good tool for building trust for your company.
Customers need to trust and share the same values with the brands they do business with. Nothing builds and fosters this trust like PR.
Credibility is an intangible asset that all companies desire, but organizations can’t simply advertise that they are credible, you have to earn it over the long-term. For example, have you ever seen the following statement before in some form?
“The world’s leading B2B SaaS platform”
Who has said this about the company? Was it reported in the news? If not, then people will likely see straight through this attempt to appear credible. It’s much better to communicate your purpose.
The earned media is a much more credible platform to share your story, message, and values. Over time, your positioning as a market leader and expert will grow over time and your stakeholders will recognize this.
While PR doesn’t necessarily drive sales, people don’t buy products, they buy brands. They buy from who they know and who they have seen in the media that they trust. Using PR and marketing in tandem can drive great results. First someone connects with your brand as a result of your PR activities and then converts into a customer as a result of your marketing tactics.
3. Command market voice and expertise
Too often in the Nordics, companies focus on crafting and perfecting their product or service, too nervous and shy to tell anyone about it before it’s ready. In that time, your competitors are beating you to the punch, telling their story and intentions to the media long before they have even launched anything.
With the media landscape more competitive than ever and companies performing more and more PR tactics, don’t get left behind trying to perfect everything before communicating it. Capture that market voice early and pre-empt others who are waiting around.
Like Abraham Lincoln once said, “Things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.” While PR should be a long-term strategy for your company, don’t miss real-time opportunities when they present themselves.
4. Attract investors/acquirers
Being in the right media at the right time with a great message lets investors know that you’re a viable and worthwhile company that deserves their attention, time, and money.
Making great products is one thing, but your story and purpose is the thing that people really connect with. If you have a great product or service and an interesting story to back it up with, investors are far more likely to be interested in your company.
Attracting investment is a milestone for any startup – it’s a vote of confidence from a respected outside expert in your space and a signal that your company is positioned for the future, which is important to prospective partners and customers, as well as future investors.
If you’re considering starting PR activities and are wondering when the best time to get started is – the answer is yesterday. Don’t get left behind.
We’ve been working with people across Finland’s startup and growth company communities for the past 14 years to help them tell purpose-driven stories through PR. Click below to find out how we can help your company with its PR strategy and execution.