PR can be an incredible way to propel a brand into the public eye in order to gain recognition. A business can be based on a revolutionary idea, have a well-functioning and hard-working team and even produce impressive profits, however without a vital media presence and recognisable image the brand cannot and will not be a success. With the rapid growth and success of social media and the internet becoming the first port-of-call for most, PR has never been so vital in establishing a brand. How can a consumer purchase the product if they do not know it exists? And how does the consumer trust what is offered if they have never heard of it? That is exactly where PR comes in.
Often a misconception of PR, building a reputation for a brand is much more than just managing a simple Facebook or Twitter page; this is a good start, but it is not enough. Whether you hire a PR agency or in-house team, the specialists will increase the credibility of your business by strategically keeping up relations and getting the product into the press. Most importantly, PR will add value to your establishment.
Many hold the contaminated view that PR is not a specialist industry and can be maintained on a part-time basis by any member of the company. In fact, PR is incredibly strategic and takes excessive planning. PR is not an afterthought, or a secondary priority. In order to succeed and to achieve the results desired, professionals have to maintain a strong relationship with relevant publications and professionals.
Maintaining relations is a vital element to PR, as those in the industry will be familiar with. It is often the case that a PR specialist with experience and an established list of journalists will have far better results than a recent grad with the highest degree in PR and Communications. It all comes down to building trust and establishing a reputation, this is what creates a successful PR team. PR specialists often do not get the coverage they desire in the most high-grossing publications which at times can become demoralising and frustrating, but reinforces the importance of creating strong relationships with journalists. One-off coverage can be a lot easier to achieve or can come down to luck, but in order to secure a strong relationship with a publication, it is vital to maintain links with editors and journalists, and this can only be achieved by professionals.
Social Media has also become vital in recent years, establishing itself as the core of many PR campaigns. Particularly for innovative youthful brands attempting to target a younger clientele, social media has become the perfect platform for showcasing products. Facebook and Twitter pages can be a great and cost-effective way to have direct communication with the consumer, with the ability to post photos and information, run competitions and create polls. With over 1.23 billion Facebook users worldwide, it is clear to see why the social media page is a go-to for PR specialists.
Celebrity endorsement is another powerful way to further promote the product while generating positive results for the following of that particular individual. For example, by sending out samples of perhaps the latest teeth-whitening toothpaste or hair removal cream to relevant celebrities, encouraging them to publicly promote the product would encourage their following try or purchase the product. This is also exploited by social media; Instagram pages are filled with celebrities snapping the latest treatments they have undergone or products they have received, reaching the magnitude of followers that many celebrities have.
This has more recently extended to the YouTube community with online favourites such as beauty vlogger Zoella who currently has over 8 million YouTube subscribers and her collectively her social media platforms reach over 9 million, and most recently has gone on to secured deals with brands such as Topshop, Boohoo and Superdrug, who now carry her own line of beauty products. The online world is a whole new platform that can hold massive advantages for your business and having a good PR team to capture these advantages is where it can all begin.