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PR & Media Relations
March 25, 2024

PR Checklist: 6 Signs You Need PR

Public relations (PR) boasts a rich history spanning over two centuries, serving as a strategic tool for shaping and managing communications and public perception particularly for a company’s external and internal audiences. PR plays a pivotal role in cultivating brand reputation, nurturing positive connections, engaging existing and potential audiences, and marrying your various marketing endeavors together. It stands as an indispensable tool for every marketing department, although not all brands harness its potential.

Take a moment to go over the following checklist. If more than one item resonates with your brand, it might be time to consider a PR strategy.  

PR Checklist: Signs You Need Public Relations  

1. You Have Limited or Undesirable Brand Awareness

Brand awareness represents the extent to which consumers are familiar with your brand— bad or good. It can be determined through a variety of key performance indicators, including search results, social media activity, branded search volume, and share of voice. Signs of limited or undesirable brand awareness can range from unmet sales targets to lack of brand recognition and no new growth on organic efforts like social media or your website. These signs signal a pressing need for a PR intervention.  

Beyond limited awareness, brands often encounter inaccurate brand perception. You may be dealing with messaging or an impression of the brand that doesn't accurately represent what it stands for.

Public relations can help you control your band awareness and correct your brand image. PR is an “earned” method for cultivating brand awareness and strategically connecting with your audience on their preferred platforms. Because PR is earned media, and therefore has a level of third-party endorsement or authority, it also lends a degree of authenticity to your brand or product messaging.

2. You Lack Adequate Media Coverage

Are you trying to reach a new or broader audience? Public relations can be one of the most effective methods to do so. As mentioned earlier, PR meets your audience where they are and, in this case, where they consume media. In the United States alone, the average individual dedicates approximately 421 minutes each day to digital media consumption. While traditional PR through tangible media like newspapers and magazines still holds sway, digital media is now the primary avenue for news dissemination and consumption.

A lack of media coverage can hinder your brand's growth and the reputation-building of your brand. You miss vital touch points with engaged and interested audiences—both alone and to your competitors. The media may cover your brand when they remember you or, unfortunately, when you land in the news for other reasons, but most media coverage requires you to be proactive with a consistent PR outreach strategy.

To secure media coverage, it's imperative to cultivate relationships with editors and nurture these connections with stories of genuine value. This is just another leg to your overall PR efforts, where it can be beneficial to work with an experienced partner with an established media network.  

3. You Have No Trade Show Editorial Support

Your customers aren’t the only ones attending trade shows; major industry events attract key media outlets and therefore present an ideal opportunity to foster connections with editors and create lasting relationships. To capitalize on this opportunity, maximize your time by proactively scheduling appointments with editors you already collaborate with and those you aim to establish relationships with. These meetings help keep your brand top of mind when reporters are working on stories in the future.

Editorial meetings involve compiling a media list and crafting tailored pitches to entice editors with the offerings at your booth. This is also where having a proficient PR team can be highly advantageous. With our expertise, you can streamline the process and maximize the impact of your interactions with editors, enhancing your brand's visibility and outreach at trade shows while further increasing your return on investment. 

4. You Need Help Staying Competitive  

Public relations plays a crucial role in maintaining your competitiveness by positioning your brand at the forefront of industry conversations about the products or services you offer. If your competitors are already engaging in PR initiatives while you're not, they have a distinct advantage. On the other hand, if you're actively pursuing PR strategies, you gain a competitive edge and the opportunity to leverage earned media to your advantage.  

A well-executed PR strategy not only amplifies your brand's visibility, it also can solidify your company’s position as a thought leader and resource within the industry. By crafting compelling stories and disseminating them strategically, public relations enables you to assert your brand's authority and relevance, strengthening your competitiveness in the market.

5. You Lack a Crisis Management Plan  

When a problem arises — think employee safety incident, product failure, executive scandal, etc. — timely, clear communication is absolutely critical, and acting reactively (or not at all) can do more harm than good. Is your brand equipped with a robust crisis management plan? As the adage goes, "prepare for the worst and hope for the best," and that's precisely the purpose of a crisis management strategy.

Failure to have a plan in place is a significant indicator that your brand could benefit from PR intervention. Explore some of the most notable crises and witness how PR teams navigated these challenges, restoring public trust and goodwill.

6. You Have No Current PR Efforts  

Public relations serves as a fundamental component of your marketing strategy, unifying all your endeavors across various channels — be it digital, traditional, or paid — into a cohesive narrative and message. It functions as the channel through which you forge fresh relationships, identify prospective leads, and maintain communication with existing and prospective customers and the public. If your only current PR efforts are sending press releases when anew product comes out or there is big news to share, this is a sign you are wasting a key brand awareness opportunity. Public relations involves a strategic plan that consistently delivers relevant and timely news, ideas, and thought leadership to the industry.  

For amore detailed approach, an audit of your current efforts and expertise to help guide you and develop a PR strategy that delivers results, contact us today! We have a team of experts waiting to help you and become an extension of your team.

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