Business owners may face Public Relations and communications problems on a day to day basis, many are straight forward and some are a little more complicated. Before I get into the problems let me get back to basics:
“What is PR?”
It’s funny because I get asked this question more often than I care to admit and whilst to me it’s very simple and straightforward to many business owners looking to hire a PR agency there are blurred definitions that cause confusion and disappointment. I think one of the best definitions that I have found is this one from PRSA: Public Relations is a strategic communication process that builds mutually beneficial relationships between organisations and their publics”
The “strategic communication process” element is my favourite part of that definition. All too often business owners seem to think that PR covers everything from sales to advertising. Whilst it can have an impact on sales it is different, click here for this great explanation on the difference.
So here are 3 problems that PR can helps to solve, although it might not be able to fix every single business problem these are the key ones that PR can fix if implemented correctly:
Weak Brand Reputation: Sometimes a company’s reputation can start to falter, this could be for an array of reasons but usually it’s due to ineffective communication between the customer and the brand itself. With a consistent and unified approach, Public Relations can really help to maintain the brand reputation of a company and/or entrepreneur. The ability to ensure that the brand reputation of a business is held to high regard can really make the difference between high levels of customer retention and low brand loyalty. Use PR to share good news stories and communicate best practice to the customer base and the wider community.
Social Media Crisis: In the social media age, how a business copes with a PR crisis is now more important than ever before. It can take just a few hours for a business to start trending for all of the wrong reasons and without a PR crisis management strategy in place the damage to a company’s brand may appear to be irreparable.
Poor Customer Services: The media is now more accessible than ever before, journalists frequently seek interesting news stories via social media and members of the public also approach media outlets directly when they have had a poor customer services experience. PR can be used to improve communication between the customer and the business. Negative feedback can be used to create a change within a business and also improve the relationship it has with it’s customers.
These are just 3 problems that PR can help solve but of course it should not be used in isolation. Every member of your business team should seek to help resolve any issues that your business faces and if you’re a sole trader then take the time to really focus on what needs to be done to fix your problems.