Connecting with customers is important for business owners irrespective of product/service or brand success.
However, a common strategy choice that you will come across will be deciding between PR and marketing. PR (Public relations) and marketing have specific characteristics, limitations, and benefits, but which one should you begin with?
Knowing the best methodology leads to better results and ensures that your business stays on track. Most experts suggest prioritizing PR over marketing for many reasons. Let us discuss the differences between the two strategies to help you make an informed decision.
Differences between Marketing and PR
Marketing and PR are entirely different strategies that have a huge impact on business. PR strategies are all about creating better networking for your brand. It helps create word of mouth – the most effective method of improving brand image.
On the other hand, marketing is about promoting brands and is a significant step after establishing a good PR network. The marketing stays consistent with your image and motivates customers to buy from you.
Marketing and PR: What is better?
Potential customers hardly recognize a brand in its first year, and motivating customers to buy your product/service will be challenging. It is because your company (no matter how good) is still unknown, and people haven’t created the trust element they need.
As a business, it is important for you to market your brand. This means that you need to engage with several marketing strategies to engage target audiences to your brand. You can choose between offline and online marketing, depending on which serves your interest best. In the first stage, the aim is to create awareness around your brand. This is why marketing is always done first!
In addition, you probably do not have a lot of funds if you have just started in the market. So, you will spend your money carefully and wouldn’t want to make a move that proves counterproductive.
Anyone who spends money on marketing before customers know about the brand throws money. You will have to pay a higher price to interact with the customer through promotions without proper PR.
Most customers will make an internet search, quickly pan through your brand, and decide if they like it. Spending money on marketing in such a situation does not help. Moreover, you will be pretty disappointed if you set sales milestones to show results to your company investors.
How to Create a PR Strategy?
Using a devised plan of action for PR plays an essential role, considering it impacts your business trajectory. Here are a few tips for creating a PR strategy for your business.
1. Begin with Close Customer Interactions
PR is all about close customer interaction, so you need to begin with sharing your brand with people you know. For example, begin by asking people for other groups who might be interested in your niche or the products/services you offer.
It is the most effective method because people will trust their peers even if they do not know much about your brand.
However, incorporating a marketing strategy right away will pop your brand up, but most people will ignore it. Similarly, providing product/service demos is also a good option. You can begin by providing a few brand samples for free and let the customers decide what they need.
2. Use Content Marketing
A more effective method to passively share your brand with customers is through digital marketing. Digital marketing is a vast field with many practices to help the business grow. However, using blogs and articles to showcase your brand is the most effective.
You can create a website, add good quality content, or request other websites to show your blogs as guest posts. These blog posts will help you maximize conversion rates and increase your chance of good customer response.
In addition, the blogs do not have to target your product only but can also be used to target and educate customers about areas surrounding your product. If you are not sure that you can create the blogs yourself, public relations firms in Chicago are an excellent option to choose. These PR agencies have the experience, professionals, and tools to build PR better and introduce your brand to the market.
The PR companies can also help provide the readers with many blogs/articles while keeping them well-versed with what you want to share.
3. Increase Visibility and Recognition
Building brand identity is not a day’s job, and it is about striving to improve how customers see your brand. You need to merge different strategies to build PR, and it revolves around the general concept of popping up with your brand everywhere.
Companies can show up on radio shows, podcasts, webinars, and other interactive places. It will increase customers’ knowledge about your brand and assist in showcasing your brand as a reputable one.
Creating this market visibility is primarily slow, so brands need to stay patient and consistent with their approach to the customers. Increasing visibility will also help you improve website traffic, brand reputation, and other vital areas. The benefit makes PR the most effective tool for budding businesses.
4. Visit or Host Community Events
Community events are the best way to reach out to grass-root level customers. These people trust their judgment for products, and it is essential to convince them. The community event can be a charity, a donation event, or something similar that helps you interact with customers.
Your brand will not be the main focus of these events but are still a good option if you want people to know more about yourself.
Community events are an excellent way to improve the public sentiment about your brand. For example, if people love brands that have a philanthropic attitude. Leading brands like Coca-Cola, Uber, Nokia, etc., have all done their bits of community events. These brands use the events to give back to the community and increase their brand reputation.
You can interact with thousands of people, let them hear your voice and messages directly, and more. PR strategies are a better alternative than paying thousands of dollars for marketing campaigns.
PR and marketing are both critical elements of business building. However, incorporating PR strategies first increases the chances of quality customer interaction, improved work approach, etc. Businesses need to begin their strategy with PR and then work their way to paid brand marketing.