We experience the power of PR every day and may not even realize it. Case and point, Beyoncé’s latest video album, Lemonade. Despite what your musical preferences may be, you probably have noticed a lot of chatter around her upcoming album (which remained unnamed and without a release date until it was) be it a website, social media news feed, friend or radio station; that is exactly what Queen Bey was going for.
Through implementing a strategic and integrated PR campaign composed of social media teasers, cryptic announcements and well-viewed live performances (hey there, Super Bowl), Beyoncé captivated the GLOBAL attention of media and listeners well beyond her fan-base. Beyoncé’s camp built awareness, anticipation and demand all by way of a well-executed PR plan that clearly communicated with their target audience and beyond.
Another unique result of this strategic album release is that Lemonade was released exclusively on the streaming app TIDAL, which is owned by music mogul and husband, Jay Z. Not only did the release of Lemonade catapult to the top of the charts, but it took TIDAL straight to the top of the Apple App Store rankings.
Now what can we learn from Beyoncé’s well-executed publicity strategy? A strong PR plan can (and should be) a cornerstone of a company’s awareness, growth, and yes, even revenue.
From B2B to B2C, start-ups to mid-size companies, and global brands, here are 5 ways PR can help your business grow:
It Supports Company Longevity
Through smart PR strategies, your company garners the access and approval of not only the public, but the media as well. This is because PR strategies support your overall mission, vision and reputation. The more you are willing to discuss your industry trends, hurdles, successes and what you are doing to be a vital source in your specific industry, the more the media will look to spotlight your company or use you as a resource for comment on industry-related topics. These opportunities keep the lines of communication open with your target market and can be the catalyst to activating key elements of a company’s overall strategic plan. Best have a PR team that can leverage these relations to keep your company in the forefront.
It Influences Revenue Drivers, Supporting Lead Generation and Sales in the Digital Landscape
At its core, public relations is designed to get your company in front of new eyes and to repeat the process. Each new profile, product feature, brand story or broadcast interview opens the door to new customers for your company. Couple this with brand advocates, online media placements, trackable lead magnets and measurable, online sales funnels and you’ve gained insight into your target demographics and even perhaps their purchasing power. Pair this with ongoing communications strategies, and suddenly you may need to reanalyze your company’s growth projections for the good!
It Builds Awareness
A good PR strategy will generate meaningful media placements featuring your brand, product or service. It will educate the public on how your company is providing the best solution to a problem they are facing and help position your brand over competitors. This accreditation exposes consumers to your service or product and creates demand for your brand’s offering. Increasing general awareness will put you on the road to being a leader in your field and potentially expose your business to additional funding resources or partnerships that will help elevate your brand and take it to the next level.
It Gives You Leverage Over Competitors
Anyone can buy ad space to tout their business or product, but it’s just that, an ad. It fails to resonate with the public and to communicate what makes your company worth the investment. Public relations changes this model by delivering tailored messages through trusted third-party sources. These editorial endorsements, which can be a product feature, company profile or bylined article (to name a few), build creditability for your brand because consumers tend to be more influenced by media coverage over your ability to pay for an advertisement.
It Builds Trust
You may be asking how credibility and trust differ; we’ll tell you how. A creditable brand will have brand loyalists that makeup a strong repeat customer base while a trusted brand will have brand advocates who promote the product or service on behalf of the company. Trust, like the successes of public relations, does not happen overnight, but is cultivated through a steady stream of visibility and transparency with the public. Trust is the root that grows a strong, creditable foundation. Once established, your customers should be nurtured into advocates who promote your brand for you through review sites, social media and good ol’ word of mouth conversations. Peer-to-peer recommendations are an extension of how public relations helps your growth and positions you as a leader in your industry.