You probably have a decent idea of what PR (public relations) is and why so many brands use it (over four-fifths of UK businesses to be precise). However, what fewer people have a handle on is why exactly PR is so important, let alone why it can be just as crucial for consumers as it is for brands.
As a dedicated PR agency, we here at Pitch know a thing or two about why consumer PR is important — there’s a reason we recommend it to so many of our clients. Allow us to fill you in on some of the main reasons why both businesses and audiences can benefit from public relations.
Why is PR important to a business?
Creates positive media attention
The saying goes that “all PR is good PR”, and while we don’t fully agree with that sentiment — just look at these examples of PR gone wrong — there’s no doubt that PR can and often is good for building a brand’s reputation.
From taking part in community events and partnering with other popular brands, to sparking discussions with publicity stunts and commenting on newsworthy stories, there are so many ways brands can generate positive media attention via PR.
Builds brand authority
Similarly, by publishing high-quality PR content that disseminates useful information to the public, brands can build their own authority. This refers to the extent that customers view brands as a trustworthy source of information.
Not only will consumers trust a business more as a result, but building brand credibility in this way also sets them apart from their competitors and gives them influence.
Helps manage crises
One saying that we do agree with here at Pitch is that, in Winston Churchill’s words, you should “never let a good crisis go to waste.” Crisis management is a key pillar of a successful PR strategy, and works to reduce the impact of any crises that occur by fixing or at least acknowledging the issue, addressing the impacted parties, and projecting a united front.
As well as helping brands diffuse a situation, as the likes of KFC have shown, crisis management can even improve a brand’s reputation.
Why is PR important to consumers?
Helps them to discover brands
The leads that businesses gain via PR also benefit by finding out about new brands. Yes, traditional marketing methods are still important here, but as consumers become wiser to and wearier of such strategies, PR is increasingly stepping up to the plate as it is typically less promotional.
What’s more, the information disseminated by brands is useful for consumers too, helping them learn about things they didn’t know before.
Enables them to forge connections with brands
PR is also reciprocal in the way it facilitates brands and consumers to forge relationships with one another. In today’s digital era, where consumers have near round-the-clock access to brands, many consumers aren’t just looking to buy from them — they want to form emotional connections with brands. Through strategies like events and personalised content, PR helps consumers do just this.
Validates brands via social proof
Likewise, lots of consumers look for third-party validation of brands before making a purchase — often via social proof.
One of the most useful PR strategies used by brands is partnerships, and this is a key way of validating them in the eyes of consumers. By teaming up with well-respected and recognisable partners, consumers can make a more informed decision about giving a brand their custom, as these relationships suggest that they can be trusted too.
These are just a few of the main reasons why consumer PR is important to businesses and customers alike. Pitch is well versed in harnessing these strategies, from facilitating brand partnerships (like between Uber Eats and McDonald’s) and launching events (such as our Upliftford campaign for ASICS), helping brands achieve impressive results.