2019 is well and truly here and if your business is reviewing its PR strategy, then this could be a timely read. PR (the acronym for Public Relations) is broadly about managing your company’s reputation and image, and how it is communicated to the public.
There is of course ‘Good PR’ and ‘Bad PR’, the latter of which can be extremely damaging to a company’s image and reputation. The common saying, ‘there is no such thing as bad publicity’ simply isn’t true. Negative PR or publicity can destroy the most established brands, and there have been some famous corporate casualties over the years. With the advent of social media, one ‘slip of the tongue’ or media mishap, can be shared with millions around the globe in a matter of seconds.
But (and there is a ‘but’) the best PR in the world won’t be effective if a company doesn’t or can’t deliver on its promoted promises, or falls short in providing good customer service. That is why ‘PR’ in the context of ‘public relations’ should be explained to all employees, especially those who have direct contact with customers whether that is in sales or after-sales roles. An unfriendly or unhelpful attitude is quite frankly ‘Bad PR’, even if the customer is in the wrong, and it can have a negative impact on company image.
A good example of this is based on a personal experience. I regularly shop at a well-known food store (it will remain nameless, but if I say the one that does some of the most mouth-watering TV advertising!) and very often encounter the same (rather miserable) cashier.
The first time, I put it down to being just an off-day; the second time, I thought maybe she is sad or has issues that are making her miserable; the third and fourth went from bad to worse. I always smile and try chatting to her, but she is evidently (for whatever reason) not happy in her job. That is of course ‘her’ business, and not mine. The problem is, I (the customer) do not come away feeling that I’ve had good service and in doing so, there has been some damage to the company reputation.
Good PR is the lifeblood of any successful business, and it undoubtedly starts with internal PR to ensure employees feel valued and appreciated. It is important to understand that PR relates to every customer interaction and touchpoint, and every public announcement or communication.
Having a solid, well-thought out PR strategy that accurately reflects your business ethos and goals is the first step but equally as important, is having a team of people who are totally committed to representing the brand and everything it stands for. A holistic approach is needed. Attracting customers is one thing, but retaining their loyalty is quite another!
If you would like professional support with your PR, then please get in touch to find out more. We are a small agency based in Warwickshire offering affordable, friendly and effective PR services. Contact us to find out more.