Investing in PR is a commitment, so before you get started, it’s important to be clear on the competitive advantages of PR. Clarity around these advantages can ultimately help you enhance your overall PR outcomes.
A trusted brand will increase sales and revenue, but there’s an additional reason to use the competitive advantages of PR: the bank of trust and credibility. Building trust and credibility has it’s own brand value advantages, the third-party validation from credible media outlets positively affects capital raises, increased sales, and future IPOs. But there’s more, if you get caught up in bad news, have a product recall, or other upsetting news, the trust you’ve established with customers, investors, and journalists will serve you well as you respond to bad news. Depending on the news, PR could also save you legal fees, re-branding fees, or lost sales. Credibility and trust build up over time, and if given the opportunity, trust is a lot like reinvested dividends, they grow exponentially over the years, so it’s never too early to make deposits in the trust bank.
Paid ads require copywriters, videographers or photographers, a team of editors for content, and that’s before you ever purchase the space or pay the ad and marketing agency for their creative ideas and campaign planning. PR agencies specialize in creating opportunities that come at little to no cost, like creating buzz, word of mouth, or owned content. Product placements or executive quotes, interviews or public speaking opportunities, awards, these have little to no additional cost, and yet they lend 3x more credibility than an advertisement. So what’s the competitive advantage? Let your competitors spin their wheels on the ever-changing price of digital ads or the unknown impact of a print ad and instead invest in sticky earned media, with a predictable budget, that delivers awareness AND credibility.
What would you pay to have 50% or more of your customers or clients be completely loyal to your brand, no matter how much your competition targets them? Competitive advantage PR campaigns that appeal directly to customer values or purpose have an enormous impact on customer loyalty and earned media. Purpose-driven programs also have the added competitive advantage of potentially appealing to a segment of journalists too. Well-considered PR campaigns will have the added competitive advantage of giving you more opportunities to communicate with your customers and give your employees more opportunities to humble-brag about the socially aware company they work for. And when the recruiting market is tight, giving your employees pride in their work saves on recruiting and turn-over costs.
Playing with the Big Boys
If you’re not already a household name, then one of the competitive advantages of PR is the statement that you’ve arrived. When media outlets start covering your products, you’ve entered into a rarified realm because less than 2% of all companies EVER receive media exposure, and we bestow those that do with more credibility. Simply appearing in an article with a household name elevates your company. At Avaans Media, our clients are hyper-growth companies or those in emerging industries, or developing purpose-driven campaigns – what all our clients have in common is when they come to us, they are in the mix, but not well known to key stakeholders, but when they leave us, they have measurable outcomes including capital investment, mergers and acquisitions, and IPOs.
Leverage Your Other Initiatives
One additional competitive advantage of PR is having them at the table when planning internal or external initiatives. PR experts can help you develop those plans with media reactions in mind. If you DON’T want press on something, PR experts will know how to enhance that outcome and will help you prepare if it hits the press. On the other hand, PR experts can advise how to leverage marketing initiatives for additional coverage. We’ve helped our clients identify many ways their investments in branding, partnerships, and even advertising can pay 3X more dividends through earned media.
PR is the choice of brands with big plans and that’s because the competitive advantages of PR can’t be beaten. Regardless of your strategic business goals, talk to PR experts about them so they can advise you on the best ways to make those goals a reality, faster.