Why you need PR to build your brand

Why you need PR to build your brand


Hana Dickinson, MD of The Bridge – strategic marketing & PR specialists and creator of SuffolkWire is worried many businesses are intimidated by the idea of PR. Here she explains why Suffolk business should be using PR as a core part of their marketing mix.

A quick look at the arsenal of marketing channels available includes email, social media, print, advertising, networking, trade shows, speaking engagements and PR. Did that last one worry you a bit? It’s true PR can be a daunting phrase for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Finding the time, resources, and skill to plan and pitch stories to the press can feel overwhelming – but there are plenty of people in Suffolk who can help.

Indeed, a proper communications strategy is critical to the success and growth of an SME. It feeds your other marketing channels. It lets a wider audience know you exist by reaching the places those marketing channels can’t. When someone Googles you and sees you mentioned, reviewed and interviewed in respected publications, it gives your brand authenticity and credibility.

When you think about it, it’s far scarier not to have PR as part of your marketing strategy. And here’s why…

You need to tell people you exist

Probably the most important one. People might love your product or service, but they need to know it exists before they can even think about becoming customers. You need to balance your communication to your own database with communication that will reach new people within your target market.

A good PR strategy is about reaching these potential customers through the media they consume. What trade publications are they reading? What blogs influence them? What magazines? Newspapers? What’s the best way to catch their eye?

Finding ways into these publications and platforms, letting people know you exist, and what you do, is the heart of good PR.

It builds your brand through trust, authenticity and credibility

PR techniques, such as sending press releases out to editors, pitching features and interviews, and having your products and services reviewed, draws attention to your brand from and audience you’d otherwise struggle to reach. It starts an objective dialogue that helps your authenticity and credibility to stick in peoples’ minds.

This does introduce an element of risk, as you can’t control what someone will write about you. But if your brand is offering something that brings genuine benefit to your customers, that should shine through. And getting a write up in a respected publication will bring you a lot of positive attention.

It makes you look good in Google searches

In the digital age, every online mention and article about your business is permanent. Just ask Google. Potential customers will. And you’ll look a lot more attractive to them if a search of your company name comes up with more than your own content marketing, Facebook page and LinkedIn profile.

A good PR strategy will put your name out there. A glowing mention on a popular blog, a news report about your latest offering, a recommendation from a respected voice in your industry, all add up to a growing body of articles to populate that reputation boosting online search.

It also gives your own marketing channels more credibility and content. It makes your audience more receptive to your own marketing because it gives your brand kudos.

And remember, PR isn’t just for the big guys

True, John Lewis gets serious media coverage just for releasing an advert at Christmas. But remember, they’ve played the PR game well for years, and built it up to this level.

No matter how big or small you are, there’s usually a news angle for everything you do. Your people, a new product, new premises, an improved training programme, collaboration or new initiative. And there’s always a place that will be interested in talking about it.

We’re very lucky in Suffolk to have some great copywriters and PR specialists – from freelancers to agencies. Talk to some specialists and find someone you feel comfortable with, who can help you tell your story. Maybe start with SuffolkWire and grow your PR activity from there. It will be worth it.

Get in touch with Hana to see how you can boost your brand through great PR.

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