PR is undoubtedly many things to many people. The focus of this article will look at what is PR to a small business owner, an independent artist and a marketing manager in a big corporate company. All three need PR, but they need different aspects of it.
Why small business owners need PR
Alright so let’s see, you are working on getting new clients, getting your finances in order, trying to figure out if you should hire help or not and. Your to-do list is literally the length of an arm, I can assure you that writing your company blog or updating your social media accounts is literally last on that very long list. This is not because you don’t value your image or maintaining relations with your stakeholders, it simply means you just don’t have the time, energy and enough creative muscle to dive in to it.
Your company, no matter what size it is, needs to have some control over the perception audiences have of it. If you want people to think that you’re a company that cares about the community it operates in, you must drive the creation of that perception. If you want your audience to perceive you is a fun, young and very upbeat company, you have to create that perception yourself. The chances are, if you don’t someone whom you do not even know will do that for you.
So how should you go about doing this? Public relations. You know you don’t have the time, energy and creative force to focus your attention on PR, so why not invest in it. Hire a PR intern to come do some time with you, have them handle your social media with your guidance. If you’ve got a little wiggle room in your budget, invest in either a professional practitioner or firm aligned with your needs and wants.
Yes price definitely matters, but do your best to conduct research before you put your company’s reputation in someone else’s hands. There truly is a PR agency or PR practitioner out there that will align with your needs and wants and budget. So take the dive and go for it. That is literally one less thing to tick off your list.
How about independent artists, why do you need good PR to further your career?
Whether you’re a fine artist who enjoys creating using your hands or a recording artist who enjoys creating using your voice, you need to focus on your art to be able to deliver the best. Yet here’s the catch, you need to make money from your talent, just like every other person utilising their talents and skill to live.
How can PR help you achieve this? In this case you need publicity. You need to generate as much “noise” as possible around your current work as possible. You need people to know that you are working on something, you need people to know that you are done working on something you need people to know. Generating attention on your work is a beautiful way to keep your audience involved in your working process. Doing this has become even easier nowadays with the advent rise of social media.
Social media management is a crucial tool for artists that don’t have the necessary budget that sponsored or signed artists have. This gives you a leverage in that you are able to create quality content and most importantly engaging content that both entices and informs your audience. In this case, a Social Media Manager is necessary. You can decide whether you want to hire a Freelancer, an intern or a PR agency. Again this decision will be informed by your budget and your needs and wants for our image.
Lastly why do you as a marketing manager need a PR maven on your team?
To be blunt, there really isn’t as much money in the marketing budget to fulfil all the marketing needs required by your director or CEO. They want so much more for so much less, and this is where your PR maven comes in to place. As you may or may not know, PR is more than capable of stretching your marketing budget to unheard of lengths. Getting R50 000 worth of marketing for FREE is literally common with PR.
Paying a PR agency or a PR professional to do for you what your budget limits you to do, is nothing short of necessary. Who else will be able to butter up your stakeholders to pop out even more money towards your company? What about the press relations required to keep your media contacts pumped with news stories about your organisation? These are things that are necessary in ensuring that the image and brand of your company is controlled and maintained by your department, however all of which will cost an arm and a good fit leg to achieve. Invest in good PR and watch just how much bang for your money they’ll be able to get.
Thoriso Kolobe is the founder and managing director of boutique PR agency, RPR Agency. She founded the company after she struggled to secure permanent employment in 2014. She is a communications enthusiast, a lifetime student of PR, an ardent reader and writer and she has a strong passion for entrepreneurship.