7 Business Functions Enhanced by PR

Public relations has a profound impact on business functions. PR is unique in that it holds the power to influence virtually every other area of business. PR builds trust faster than advertising or marketing because it’s earned media, meaning it’s not what you say about yourself but what others say about you. It builds the know, like and trust factor more reliably.

Let’s see how public relations enhances seven crucial business functions by demonstrating its pivotal role in shaping a company’s image, reputation, and success.

1) Marketing

Marketing is about reaching your target audience, but at its core, it’s about getting leads to sell your products or services. PR is crucial in enhancing your marketing efforts through five key ways.

  • Improves messaging: PR is aligned with storytelling. What are the stories you want to share about your business? PR practitioners are extractors and crafters of stories that can supply great messaging for your marketing.
  • Enhances SEO: Every link from another website to yours enhances your availability on Google and other search engines. The more backlinks you have to your website, the higher you appear in search results.
  • Builds brand credibility: Positive PR stories and endorsements from credible sources can significantly boost your brand’s image and trustworthiness. A third-party referral lends credibility to your reputation.
  • Product launches: Effective PR campaigns generate excitement and anticipation for new products, services, partnerships, or appearances, which amplify your marketing efforts.
  • Crisis management: PR helps manage and mitigate reputational damage during crises to safeguard your marketing investments. If you have an established, strong, positive brand reputation, a crisis won’t hurt your marketing efforts as much.

Woman giving a press conference

2) Sales

Sales teams depend on leads and conversions. Public relations lays the groundwork and contributes to sales success by bringing in warmer leads than marketing.

  • Media relations: This can result in positive news, stories and reviews that create a positive sales environment. 
  • Thought leadership: PR helps establish executives as industry thought leaders, which fosters trust and makes your sales process shorter and easier. Thought leadership is created through blogs, public speaking, news coverage, and editorial and feature writing.
  • Awards and recognition: Companies often hesitate to pay to submit for awards because it can get expensive. But the PR efforts highlighting the awards, accolades, and achievements of you, your company, and your employees can attract potential customers and those who want to work with and for you.

3) Customer Service

Satisfied customers are essential for business growth. So, how does PR aid customer service? There are three ways.

  • Manages reputation: PR helps maintain a favorable public image, which reduces the potential for customer service issues.
  • Crisis communications: PR professionals can guide transparent and effective communication during service disruptions or website crashes, for example, minimizing customer dissatisfaction. If your company has a great reputation, people know you will solve any issues as quickly as possible.
  • Customer feedback: PR can collect and utilize feedback from your customers to enhance customer service, strengthening customer relationships. If you pinpoint what customers complain about, you can improve your services. You can also use positive customer feedback as testimonials.

4) Human Resources

A positive company image attracts and retains talent. PR supports HR functions through:

  • Employer branding: Whether you’re a business of one or 100, you should brand your company in a way so that when you’re ready to hire you’re positioned as an attractive place to work, improving the quality of candidates who apply for work. 
  • Employee engagement: Think about what your employees do daily and highlight their achievements publicly or privately. That helps build your company culture, which boosts morale and employee retention because employees feel seen and appreciated.
  • Crisis management: PR helps manage internal communications during crises, which helps reassure employees that you’re communicating with them and the public transparently. This allows employees to feel they can trust you to solve the issues that may affect them, which helps you maintain a cohesive and engaged workforce.

Woman speaking to coworkers sitting at a table

5) Finance

Financial stability is fundamental to business success. PR contributes to financial functions by:

  • Investor relations: PR fosters a positive relationship with your investors, which can drive your stock performance and access to capital. Having a good reputation and positioning your thought leadership also helps with investor relations by boosting confidence.
  • Risk management: PR helps mitigate risks by addressing potential reputational threats before they impact the bottom line. By reviewing potential risks before they happen, PR teams can have communications ready to be consistent with messaging and satisfy customers’ questions and concerns.
  • Cost-effective marketing: PR is often more cost-effective than traditional advertising, offering a better return on investment. You can spend a lot of dollars on advertising, but it’s still just what you say about yourself. Both should be part of your marketing mix, but if your PR is done correctly, you should be able to spend less on marketing and advertising.

6) Operations

Efficient operations are the backbone of a successful business. PR enhances operations by:

  • Supply chain management: PR efforts can communicate when there are supply chain disruptions, setting expectations and reducing any reputational damage.
  • Crisis response: PR is critical in coordinating internal and external communication during operational crises. For example, if your website crashes on Cyber Monday, posting a message on social media lets people know you will try and resolve the issue as quickly as possible.
  • Vendor relationships: PR can enhance relationships with your suppliers and other partners through communications around operational efficiency. It’s important when working with other people to know who’s doing what, when and how and to communicate that any potential issues will be resolved quickly.

7) Innovation (Research & Development)

Innovation fuels a company’s growth. How do you listen to your market and adapt to give people what they need when they need it? PR can aid these functions by:

  • Highlighting innovation: PR generates interest and excitement around new products, services, partnerships, and developments. Anything new is good for PR because it’s a new story to tell.
  • Attracting collaborators: Effective PR can draw attention from people who want to work with you. They could be potential research or product/service partners, collaborators, or referral partners.
  • Demonstrating industry leadership: PR can position your company as an industry leader, attracting top talent and partners.

Public relations is all about relationship building. Ensure the experiences people have when they work with you are the same as what you portray online. If you can do this, you can build a brand that will stand the test of time. 

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