The idea behind public relations is – publicity, as in establishing a company’s credibility (and its owner). It helps by predisposing potential customers to believe the brand when a new product or service approaches. In essence, consumer PR agencies work in the same vein as marketing agencies but are more focused on building a positive image for a brand and building the brand’s image with stakeholders like journalists. Mastering the art of consumer PR means capturing the imaginations of key audiences.
What is Consumer PR?
So, what is consumer PR? The debut of Facebook marked a watershed moment in the media and communications industries. Social media has evolved as a legitimate platform that has given consumers a voice during the last five years. PR experts began to make little moves towards making it a standard practice in the field. Simultaneously, social media played an essential role in global political events such as Barack Obama’s campaigns, solidifying its position as the public’s voice.
Over time, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram evolved into forums for consumers to discuss the companies they used and liked. The flow of information changed from being controlled by the media to peer-to-peer. Brand communications evolved from a monologue to a discussion. This compelled the public relations business to realign and innovate.
Several brands conducted customer surveys during the time to develop impactful campaign tactics, but the sample size needed to be bigger, making the insights ambiguous. However, technological advancements gave the sector a digital-led data trail with a sample size of millions.
We could now analyze consumer trends, assess their reaction to advertisements, comprehend public opinion, and adjust the discourse accordingly. Data has evolved as a medium for clearly identifying the appropriate method to use with the target audience, with data-backed insights constituting the foundation of every plan or campaign.
The internet was now the primary platform for generating brand-related dialogues. It resulted in new communication channels, such as webinars and podcasts, which brought brands and customers together on a single platform.
Today consumer PR has evolved into a spider web that enables us to construct several communication layers. Owned social media channels and content creators that advance the topic through authentic branded content can supplement traditional public relations by providing live material, such as webinars created by consumer PR agencies, to reinforce the brand message.
Some new business owners may wonder and think why they should devote money from their marketing budget to public relations. They may believe their tech firm needs more significance to warrant full-fledged public relations, or they are considering adopting a PR strategy to save money. However, public relations is not a luxury or a nice-to-have for today’s tech firms. Every organization, regardless of size or stage of development, must promote strong ties with the public.
Strong consumer PR allows brands to create the narrative in discussions with customers, prospects, investors, and existing and potential employees, in addition to assisting the organization in gaining positive publicity.
Audiences can be either active or passive. Different methods will be required to appeal to each kind. An engaged audience is interested in the company and receptive to the message.
The passive audience isn’t looking for anything and may need more time to prep for the carefully planned message, making reaching it more challenging. However, the approach should be genuine and human when dealing with a receptive audience. For that, a deep dive is required before establishing a strategy, mainly because there’s no such thing as a one-size-fits-all message. A consumer PR campaign agency can create customized messages to be successful because communication is the key to corporate success.
Consumer PR vs. Marketing
Even industry pros can readily cross the borders between public relations and marketing. Public relations and marketing departments’ aims, goals, and strategies may closely relate to today’s environment.
In short, marketing is concerned with increasing sales by promoting products, services, or ideas through platforms such as social media. Public relations primarily involves maintaining a favorable reputation for a company, brand, or individual through the media.
While public relations is concerned with reputation management and increasing the reach of news items, interviews, and announcements, marketing teams are concerned with acquiring new buyers, maintaining current consumers, and storytelling.
Both are profoundly ingrained in developing brand equity, consumer loyalty, and good brand impression. Generally, there is a distinction between the audiences for whom PR and marketing teams create communications.
The audience of a marketing agency is based heavily on consumer insight research, which enables marketing companies to target specific demographics who are more likely to be interested in one particular service or product.
It means the target demographic of marketing teams is those potential customers who will purchase based on the marketing message. Marketing teams are likely to engage in digital advertising, ABM, and email marketing for segmenting and targeting specific consumers to achieve that.
On the other hand, consumer PR is a broader initiative that depends on the primary goal of a specific organization or campaign. For instance, a press release intends to introduce or inform current and potential customers about a product launch or event. In contrast, the company’s financial report or white papers are for investors and journalists. So, while marketing and consumer PR employs tactics that may be similar, they are focused on achieving different goals, which is why PR and marketing are distinct from the same department.
Daily Activities: Marketing and public relations specialists use their time differently. PR experts mostly for earned media and media partnerships. Marketing experts devote their efforts primarily to paid media. Both marketing and PR have a role in product launch preparation, marketing campaign creation, and client research.
Target Audience: Another distinction between the two departments is the audience they reach. Depending on the organization’s desire, the PR department addresses various audiences. They may generate a good outreach with the media, firm stakeholders, or even personnel. In comparison, the marketing department is primarily concerned with reaching out to customers and prospects.
Metrics: Another important distinction between marketing and public relations is how both departments judge success. PR professionals assess whether they successfully create a positive buzz for the firm. On the other hand, marketing might consider whether a product accomplished its sales targets or the ROI from a recent campaign.
Goal: The public relations and marketing divisions approach their duties with different objectives. PR is concerned with projecting a positive image of the firm and cultivating positive relationships with the company’s numerous stakeholders. In contrast, marketing is concerned with reaching customers and prospects and growing sales, bringing us to the next obvious question, “what is the differentiation between consumer PR and B2B PR?”
Consumer PR vs. B2B PR: Explained
In public relations, there are two major categories: business-to-business (B2B) PR and business-to-consumer (B2C). Both types of public relations entail advertising a product, service, or company to a specific audience, but there are some substantial variations between the two. The target audience is likely the most crucial distinction between B2B and B2C public relations.
B2B PR is concerned with reaching out to other businesses, whereas B2C PR is concerned with reaching out to individual consumers. The target audience in B2B PR is often a blend of company decision-makers who have the authority to purchase on behalf of their firm. B2C PR, on the other hand, aims to reach the daily consumer interested in a particular product or service.
Relationship building is vital in B2B and B2C PR since it is necessary to develop trust and credibility with other firms or customers. PR agencies prioritize long-term relationships with industry influencers, journalists, and other essential players in their target market. They may also attend networking events such as launches, trade exhibits, seminars, and fairs.
In the case of B2C, PRs typically focus on creating buzz and enthusiasm about a particular product or service. Consumer PR agencies may often work with influencers and social media celebrities to generate buzz around a product launch or promotional event.
Types of Consumer PR
The role of consumer PR agencies is to plan coordinated messages that help a brand achieve its objectives instead of just passing on information for the sake of it. You could invest in the following major consumer PR types.
Social Media and Online Communications
In today’s world of instant communication, brands must possess a solid online presence to stand out from the crowd. With an increasing consumers turning to online sources to research products and services before deciding, brands must get out a positive image via their online and social media communications. As a brand, hiring the expertise of a top consumer PR agency means you get your vision out on the best social media platforms.
Targeting Influencers and the Press
When promoting a new service or product, the consumer needs to get the information they deserve, meaning there should be a mailing list of influencers and media outlets that can help get a business the boost they need when launching a new product or service. The longer the list, the better the chances of reaching a wider audience.
Targeting press and influencers can be divided into specialty, local and national categories. Only experienced consumer PR agencies can gauge which social media influencers and media reports specialize in particular products or services. It is also common for consumer PR agencies to create influencer collaborations and partnerships to produce specific content for a brand.
Consumer PR is about more than just engaging an audience and boosting visibility; consumer PR agencies act as the translator between what the company is saying and what consumers hear. Keeping that in mind, only the top consumer PR agency will be able to work its messages in a way that complements the brand and helps it reach its goal. In today’s highly competitive business environment, consumer PR has become the most critical asset for organizations that want to position themselves for success.
Hiring the Top Consumer PR Agency
Ever since Henry Ford was a little tyke getting news on the latest in the automobile and technology relied heavily on advertising. Besides the high cost, the words of an authority figure in the niche were (and are) arguably the most influential. It’s the reason why stars such as Jay Leno and Jeremy Clarkson have carved a niche as the motoring enthusiast’s TV shows and newspapers turn to for communicating brand differentiators.
In short, their opinion sways the decisions of motoring enthusiasts across the world of automobiles. The same motivation for the connected car is also responsible for the connected consumer, who can now determine the right choice from an array of news, views, and reviews on their mobile device. In a fragmented world where the sheer number of opinions available makes it harder to distinguish the truly committed, consumer PR agencies work to shape the narrative.
More influencers, reviews, and opinions will undoubtedly exist in an increasingly connected world. Still, more messages are needed, which is where hiring the top consumer PR agency can make all the difference. AdRoll has its finger on the pulse when it comes to consumer PR. The company helps marketers and business owners do more with less when reaching the consumer. Find out how you can create, manage, and analyze display, FaceBook, Instagram, Pinterest, TikTok, and email campaigns, all from a single platform.