The language of business success is pretty universal.
The business world lives and dies by metrics. Monetary metrics. So in the public relations industry, when we talk PR success, many business owners make a beeline to bottom-line figures.
But immediate cash flow from a media placement isn’t always the best determinant of PR success. For one, it’s extremely difficult, and sometimes impossible, to track a customer from a single media mention of your company. Don’t get me wrong. Regular placement in targeted media will play an essential role in driving revenues. But when you wear numeric, dollar-figure blinders, you can lose sight of PR’s core purpose and true value.
Public relations is all about strategically positioning your company to the public so that you gain exposure and build credibility to the people whom you’re ready to sell. Primarily, this is accomplished via enterprise stories, bylined articles, blog posts, videos, infographics and other tactics. Here are three non-monetary reasons why this media matters:
1. Brand reputation needs a foundation.
According to Forbes, 95 percent of the average corporation’s value consisted of tangible assets 30 years ago. Now, that figure is closer to 75 percent, meaning a company’s brand, its reputation and its name matter to consumers. With unprecedented access to news and information, it’s safe to say it matters more than ever before.
Without telling your company’s story through the media, it’s hard to build a reputational leg to stand on. But when your PR pros secure media placements that highlight your company’s news, successes, expertise and opinions, your potential customers:
- Recognize your company’s name
- Associate your company with your competitive advantages
- Trust you as an industry and business leader
2. Media coverage = more media coverage.
A journalist works under constant pressure to meet quick deadlines. Their time is precious and they’re not going to waste a second of it. Don’t expect them to spend time searching out unknown, uncovered companies for commentary or a feature profile. Like customers, they’re more apt to report on companies that have an established, strong public presence.
This usually begins on a local level. Once your local community agrees your company is hot stuff, you have the leverage to target industry trade publications. These are a fantastic way to reach a specific audience and dive deep into the heart of your business. After building notoriety from industry peers and publications, national reporters may then be open to entertaining what you have to say, because, like your customers, they have a reputation to reference.
3. Media coverage also = free marketing.
Oh yeah, those media placements you get, they’re excellent to send to clients and potential clients to show off your business’ success and ideas and get conversations rolling. Are you in an online article? That just pumps those SEO muscles.
Two birds, one stone.
4. If you don’t trumpet your key messages, who will?
Competition is usually fierce, no matter your industry. It’s safe to assume that if you’re not owning your key messages in the media, someone else could steal your spotlight.
5. Advertising alone won’t get the job done.
Some people have trust issues with advertisements. According to a recent Gallup poll, just 10 percent of Americans felt advertising practitioners held “very high or high” ethical standards, with 42 percent of Americans believing they have “very low or low” ethical standards. While ads can still be effective marketing tools for many, this data tells us it’s not an end-all-be-all.
Ethical perceptions aside, for many, advertising is just simply ignored or viewed as an interruption to what we really want to watch or read.
Media is different. It’s earned – not paid, and people choose to read or view it. So media placements inherently build credibility, which brings us full circle: back to brand reputation.
Why does media matter to you? Let me know by leaving a comment.