The value of PR in the digital age
by Katharina Rath
When I speak to new clients, sooner or later we get to the question: “What do you want to achieve with PR?” This is not as straightforward as you might think.
Simply put, the common reason to launch a PR campaign is to reach a targeted audience. Especially, if a product is interesting for a niche group of people, media coverage is an effective way to raise their awareness. So far, so good. However, PR can do much more than just raise awareness.
With coverage in distinguished media outlets and rich thought leadership in key publications, companies can build their brand and credibility. Unlike in advertisements, press coverage is always coming from a third party and is therefore considered much more trustworthy. Also with an overload of information it has a higher likelihood to be remembered since the reader has actively chosen to consume it. This also applies to investors and business partners which are much more likely to see the company as a lucrative opportunity when it has positive coverage.
Think back to a decade ago, when companies like Facebook were on the rise, how did you hear about those brand names? I don’t remember seeing a single advert for Facebook, and Uber seems to owe its success to the same cause: word of mouth. The trendiest and most successful companies in the technology space work with targeted PR and start growing with a snowball effect.
Also, talent looking for new career opportunities are much more likely to recognise a company as an industry leader when it has a powerful media profile. Motivation is higher for employees when their employers are acknowledged by trusted media outlets as they feel they are working for a recognised brand. Especially in industries that require staff with specialized skill sets.
With PR being a versatile instrument in the digital age, strategies have to be aligned with the client’s main marketing objectives.
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