The short answer is “yes”. Public relations is incredibly important for any successful business. Some might think that because of social media, they can take over this vital job themselves, but the opposite is actually true.
We’ve seen this at play on a company’s fan page. Now to protect the identity of the company, we’ll pretend they’re a burger joint.
An unsatisfied customer comments on their fan page and says the patty tasted like a sole of an old shoe washed up on a beach. An employee, sensitive and offended, immediately attacked the customer, as according to them, all the patties are medium-rare and sent from heaven itself. They call the customer a liar and think they’ve saved the burger joint’s reputation.
Obviously, they haven’t. They’ve inadvertently created a PR nightmare, because as cliché as it is: the customer IS always right.
But you don’t just need the PR experts for damage control. PR can create immense brand awareness and through campaigns directed at the right people, it can also create many fruitful leads.
Once you’ve achieved more brand awareness, PR can help you make the right partnerships and help you build the relationships you want with the media.
And media can play a huge role in the success of your business. They can help you become a leading brand in the market through positive stories and visibility – and consumers usually want the leading brand, because they want the best.
Consumers also react well to a brand that interacts with them positively. Let’s go back to our earlier example of the burger joint. Instead of attacking the customer, the employee could have apologised and offered some form of compensation.
An action like that shows consumers that you really care and that they are the most important thing to your business. It’ll hopefully repair the relationship with the disgruntled consumer and other consumers will feel like they can trust your brand.
So, yes, once again we’d say PR is pretty important.