Slashing red ink? Don’t slow down your PR strategy (step it up)

Even in stable years it’s easy for a company to quickly go from good to poor health. When this happens the temptation is to cut back on expenses, and PR often suffers as a result. With widespread Brexit fears, the UK economy stagnating and showing its weakest growth in five years, and borrowing rates on the rise now is a difficult time for British businesses, but we implore owners and directors not to reign in their PR strategy.

In fact, we recommend the opposite. 

Regulars to our blog will know how much currency we place on earned media; we even published an entire downloadable guide explaining how to exploit the marketing potential of reviews, news stories, feature articles and more. At a time when trust in advertising is at an historic low, this area of promotion is only becoming more important.

Needless to say, then, it’s impossible to effectively compete if you are reigning in how much is spent on public relations. A robust, comprehensive and efficient PR strategy is the only way to ensure you are not wasting money, and can retain or even increase your visibility in the eyes of consumers.

Here are a few reasons why we think cutting back on PR is wrong and increasing budgets is prudent when times are looking shaky…

The appeal of your business is waning 

This is one of the most common reasons for a business to fail; people are no longer drawn to the company or its products. Doing nothing is tantamount to fading into total insignificance, coming up with a good PR strategy to counter the negative trend is the only way to resurrect, reinforce or reimagine brand credentials

Your public dialogue needs improvement 

Marketing today is about two-way conversations between consumers and companies. This means that any move to improve the dialogue your business has with the public is a positive, with PR the leading discipline for fine-tuning and overhauling that rhetoric.

 

“If I was down to my last dollar, I would spend it on public relations.” Bill Gates

Measurement is no longer fit for purpose 

Any PR strategy expert will tell you that this area of comms is no longer a dark art, but an exact science. Thanks to big data and digitisation overall, it’s incredibly easy to gauge the results of campaign work and calculate ROI, allowing you to manage expenditure effectively. The same cannot be be said for other types of marketing.

You have lost control of your reputation 

We recently wrote a blog entitled 6 steps to a great reputation management plan, and recommend taking a look. Reputation management covers both positive and negative situations, and is a core part of public relations. A PR strategy needs to focus on gaining control of brand reputation, which can turn ailing fortunes around.

Sales are stagnant and need to grow 

If you have ever worked in PR strategy you’ll know the goal is usually as much about expanding horizons as servicing those already on board. Brands struggle when there is no sales growth, and public relations can offer a great solution to the problem of finding new audiences, reaching and converting them into customers.

Read our guide to earned media