A couple of days ago, I realized that I am a Public Relations junkie. I’m okay with that, as I could be addicted to worse things! I have a passion to tell other people’s stories. From start up businesses to someone trying to prevent cancer…everyone has a story to tell. I believe that every company needs public relations (this is not a plug for me…really!) Whether a company works with a public relations firm or they hire in-house…PR is essential.
When I speak with business owners, many of them will tell me that they either don’t or can’t focus on public relations. Why?
A) A Public Relations firm is too expensive or the budget won’t allow to bring someone on staff.
B) They don’t need PR, because they are not big enough.
Sorry guys, you’re wrong. Repeat after me: “All businesses should have someone handling their public relations.” No business is too small and you don’t have to break the bank. You need a PR expert now, more than ever…especially with social media.
Just this week, I saw a small business deal with a major PR crisis. It all stemmed from a new policy that was announced on Facebook. Some followers did not like the policy and they slammed the business on social media. The page received hundreds of comments, many rude and some threatening. The company immediately responded and changed their policy explaining their reason behind it. But, at that point, people were talking about it all over social media, both opposers and supporters The news spread like wildfire and the press immediately jumped on it. All it takes is one little post and a PR crisis is born.
Years ago, public relations was all about getting a company publicity. That is still the focus, but it’s also more about building and protecting a brand. There are two main reasons why you need to have a PR expert on staff or outsourced.
1) Should you have you a crisis, you need someone to put that fire out an handle it correctly. Social media and the news is 24/7. You need to be ready for anything.
2) You are missing out on opportunities to get your story told. You may not be big, but I am sure that you have a lot of great information to share…even if it is just your local papers and social media outlets.
You don’t have to be a Fortune 500 company to hire a huge PR firm. There are tons of options out there. From consultations and media training to a project-based relationship, you can fit PR into your business.
I recently signed on with a company that consists of two partners. That’s it. You want to know where they are investing their money? Public Relations. They told me that their number one priority is to get their story told. And it will…stay tuned!
What do you think? Is Public Relations essential to all businesses? Share your thoughts. We would love to hear!