Collaborative Creation’s Content Manager Stuart Wood on why PR should be embedded in the core of your business, not an added extra
PR departments took a big hit during the pandemic. Faced with financial insecurity, some businesses viewed PR as one of their less essential expenses. Staff were furloughed, and stories were put on hold as Covid forced the majority of us to work from home and rethink our plans.
Difficult decisions have clearly had to be made in every business, and in some respects, I can understand the reluctance surrounding PR during lockdown. For many, there has simply not been much to talk about, while those who have been busy might be keen to avoid coming across as boasting at a time when others are struggling.
Now we are re-emerging from lockdown, however, I believe it is time for us to stop thinking of PR as an added extra, and stop being afraid to shout about how great we are. It is time to take centre stage once again.
If you have an idea of how and where you want to grow your business, PR is the voice that relates that vision to your customers.
PR campaigns are most effective when they are wedded to a proper business strategy. If you have an idea of how and where you want to grow your business, PR is the voice that relates that vision to your customers. It will give back as much as you put into it, too. I have heard stories from friends and colleagues about clients who buy PR campaigns, but then don’t take the time to engage with them at all. Good will and favourable opinion are not things that can be bought - they have to be earned.
PR should be embedded, and it should have a goal. How do your customers and the industry perceive you? How do you want them to perceive you? Are you a plucky startup and a thought leader, or out of touch with an aging website? If you can align your customers' perception of you with the direction your business is moving in, that’s when a campaign reveals its true value.
Of course, it also helps that events are back. There should be no shortage of exciting projects and interesting stories for all of us to shout about. I look forward to hearing - and telling - plenty of those stories in the coming months.