Public Relations revolves around bringing the company goals in line with the audience’s perception of your brand. As traditional link building and content marketing begin to see the light of the day, it is important to keep up appearances through aggressive strategies.
When it comes to PR, this approach is known as the Proactive Method. As the name suggests, the concept plays with the idea of putting in consistent efforts to build brand image, credibility, recognition and recall. On the other hand, its counterpart, Reactive PR, is concerned with minimizing the damage caused by an unprecedented event.
For instance, making up for an unprepared interview by a company executive is reactive PR, while generating promotion around that event beforehand along with an audited speech is the proactive way. Think of all the times your brand was on shaky grounds because you got all the marketing information in the end.
Ideally, PR plans should not wait for opportunities to arise. Holding back to see if a news channel covers your latest development or a publication takes an interest in your operations is always a long shot. Long-lasting customer relations are not built this way. With a proactive approach, you can steer the conversation in your favour putting all the spotlights on your brand.
Now, it is important to remember that PR is still earned media. So, the chances of positive outcomes are far more in the case of constant brand messaging rather than in crisis aversion scenarios. Plus, proactive PR is measurable. Understanding the importance and implications of each and every move allows you to track, analyze and alter your strategies as you go.
The best public relations agency is always rooting for the best scenarios and prepared for the worst ones. So, here are 5 ways how proactive PR can really make a difference for your organization and brand.
Table of Contents
1. Control Your Message
What’s better? Driving the conversation or sending out a reply?
In the fast-paced world of PR, waiting around to gather positive publicity is a lost cause. Instead, creating a proactive marketing communications plan gives you the space to shape the brand narrative and come out on top. Be it any in-market campaign, boiling it down to the strategy, goals, objectives and tactics helps get your voice across in a timely manner. Plus, you get to choose the audience you want to speak to.
Smart organizations take the proactive approach to orchestrate a change in the industry landscape. They effectively influence the public perception, delivering a brand image that is not only relevant but also resonant. It beats the passive method any day of the week.
2. Brand Loyalty
The gap between brand anonymity and recognition lies in the trenches of trust. By building a proactive strategy, public relations agencies create authentic and personable imagery that lends deeper insights into the brand and its workings. The result – greater transparency at all levels of the organization that, in turn, leads to targeted communications.
The idea is quite simple here. Since your people have more time at hand to study the market, they can essentially root out the potential risks and opportunities better. This adds to the fact that your messaging shall be more direct, refined and far-reaching.
3. Image Strengthening
Let’s say this out loud once and for all – PR doesn’t work singularly. Yes, you can push company announcements through the media, but what happens when the audience comes back to your website to find nothing of value. Hence, PR is proactively conjoined with other functions like content and social media to ensure high customer retention.
For instance, suppose a company deals in beauty products. Attending exhibitions and distributing free samples forms a part of PR, accentuating your relationship with the event managers, partners, and customers. Now, when they return searching for the same products, they shall find all the information they need to take action.
4. Low Costs
The great thing about PR is that it required minimal to zero capital outlay. All the communication tools forming a part of the marketing mix are free of cost and yet highly impactful. As a growing company, you may not have all the funds in the world to dedicate to marketing. In such scenarios, proactively managing your public relations lands you in the good books without excess effort.
To give you an illustration, let’s say a company brings out a fresh policy on diversity. Now that can be aggressively promoted through media channels in line with the changing social landscape of the country. While you may not have absolute control over what is said, you’ll still get the power to convey your message.
It goes without saying the PR messages are held in higher regard than paid advertising. Putting it in perspective for you, who would you believe more – a sales representative or a newspaper’s editor? The audience, more often than not, views promotion as biased and pushy. In contrast, PR activities are given the highest consideration because of the lack of any underlying motive.
And this is exactly what the proactive approach taps on. Company achievements that add value to the customer’s life are communicated through trusted mediums, bringing implicit brand trust to the table. This automatically leads to better associations and outcomes for the organization.
We’re being told since the beginning of time to seize opportunities as they arise. But, no one talks about how creating a series of wins for the brand gives you those chances in the first place.
The proactive method beats the traditional definition of crisis management that PR has been pushed into. Instead, it tells your brand story in all its glory to the people who are genuinely interested in hearing the narrative.