A good PR firm is worth its weight in gold when it comes to managing your brand and the public’s perception of your brand. While advertising and marketing companies focus on crafting catchy slogans and ad campaigns, your PR firm works on your business’ reputation and the way customers view your company. Through media relationships and careful editorial placement, public relations professionals build trust in your brand by finding your story a home in online outlets, print publications, television and radio programs, and similar. Not through advertizing, but through organic, “earned” placements.
The benefit of creating these “earned” media spots is that they’re much more trustworthy in the public’s eyes. Even the most clever advertizing tends to be met with a significant amount of distrust from the average consumer. After all, anyone can buy an ad and make virtually any claim that they like. Who’s to say if this restaurant really has the world’s best clam chowder, or if that winery is truly one of the most popular wedding venues in Sonoma County? When potential consumers see these claims in advertizing, they tend to glance past them, assuming it’s just overblown marketing. Every company claims to be the best. It’s what they do. Why should they trust yours?
The real key to taking hold of public perception is to seed your business’ benefits in places where people go for an outside opinion. They’ll pass over your restaurant ad in the Facebook sidebar, but if they see it featured in their local paper, they’ll take note. They speed past commercials on television while watching their recorded programs, but will perk up when they see your name featured on the show they’re watching. These media outlets have authority and have offered them a certain level of trust, which makes the recommendation that much more validating. They may not completely trust you, but they trust their favorite food blogger or television personality.
This is what a PR firm does. Our goal is to promote you, your business, and your image in a positive light, garnering public interest and trust through robust media coverage. This involves a variety of initiatives including pitching media outlets, writing press releases, social networking, creating a better social media presence, and even crisis management if the need should ever arise. If you want to build or improve your reputation, a PR agency is an excellent investment.