Traditionally, public relations specialists were primarily responsible for damage control or strategic communication on behalf of an individual or organization. While working with media members, the role entailed written copy and press releases to build brand awareness and positive reputations. Nowadays, public relations objectives have evolved.
Today’s public relations professionals are highly apt with diverse skills ranging across broad marketing initiatives. In addition to standard communication, those in public relations have search engine optimization (SEO) expertise and are savvy in link building, influencer marketing, and developing social media campaigns. Some might agree it’s a redefining moment for the profession amid the digital marketing age and heightened media saturation.
It’s safe to say that PR professionals wear many hats and are essential to marketing, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to a recent survey, 80% of PR professionals strongly agreed that communication harbored better value in 2020, with 93% stating the importance of internal corporate communication.
Yet, the same survey highlighted that 62% of poll respondents believe media relations are more complicated than ever. As a result, the most common public relations goals have transformed to keep up. Here are four public relations objectives seen in modern-day marketing.
1. Create Brand Awareness
Brand awareness of a company and its products is perhaps the most critical PR objective. If done correctly, PR experts can create a campaign narrative around a brand that fosters consumer trust and generates a buzz. Essentially, this public relations goal should result in followers.
PR leaders foster relationships with journalists — an opportunity to secure earned media placements that allow them to reach consumers directly.
With digital marketing on the rise, they also utilize various social media platforms, blogs, and video tools. This enables them to produce thoughtful content that informs and presents brands as esteemed entities in their respective industries.
Building brand awareness is no easy feat. Fortunately, there are several online PR tools professionals can utilize. For example, some tools let you pay a nominal fee to submit a press release to connect with journalists. Other options include mailing lists for more streamlined communication and data tracking tools to stay abreast of trends.
According to the International Communications Consultancy Organization’s (ICCO) 2021 World PR Report, 21% of PR professionals anticipate data analytics will have the most substantial impact in the field in the coming years.
2. Develop Consumer Trust
Developing consumer confidence is typically the fine line between brand reputation and sales generation — and PR leaders are adept at bridging the gap between consumers and the brands they know and trust.
Consumer trust is one of the most critical public relations objectives that breeds credibility and enhanced brand recognition. When consumers see a story about a brand or product in the news and online media outlets, they’re more likely to investigate it and make a purchase. A respected journalist’s brand or product recommendation carries weight with consumers and results in brand integrity and revenue.
Having a clear understanding of the target audience is essential to the PR objective for developing consumer trust. Getting to know your consumers by collecting details from third-party research firms is a practical way to tailor PR content to consumer bases.
3. Drive Revenue
Public relations objectives nearly always circle back to higher returns on investment (ROI). Companies seek an ROI for the products they develop, while consumers want to spend their money on reputable brands that produce quality goods that last — an ROI of their own.
There are several ways PR experts help accomplish this. One practical method is through consumer engagement and projecting a company’s core values — social media is a powerful player in this approach.
Positive press is also critical for businesses to gain exposure and spotlight their image. PR specialists that effectively demonstrate a company’s track record for excellence drive greater interest and demand. This also helps determine investment valuations and consumer purchasing costs.
Of course, PR is the most recognizable type of earned media — meaning PR objectives, while widely successful with the right strategy, won’t yield results off the bat. Public relations initiatives take time and effort to promote a positive brand perception and work congruently with marketing endeavors for increased sales revenue.
4. Build Brand Image
Companies understand that upholding positive relationships with customers and investors can only happen with a positive brand identity. Recent insights even show that 45% of PR leaders expect corporate reputation and strategic consulting to see the highest growth within five years.
At the end of the day, an effective public relations strategy tells a story, strengthening the brand image and consumer trust. Whether a company is refining its persona after lousy press or marking its presence as an industry leader, public relations initiatives are critical for success.
Consumers trust well-known brands that maintain a credible and positive reputation. PR experts prioritize concentrating on these elements as the basis of their strategy. Identifying the commodity, how it’ll make a difference in consumers’ lives, and why there should be interest and demand help shape the correct public relations approach and brand portrayal.
A well-recognized and robust identity is also beneficial for pulling a brand out of the depths of a crisis. PR specialists are highly skilled at reconfiguring a company’s image to help revamp its reputation.
A Changing Landscape for Public Relations Objectives
Advancements in digital marketing continue to change the landscape for modern-day public relations objectives. A campaign that aims to build brand awareness and consumer trust is only as effective as its multi-faceted approach. Public relations experts must shift their focus to new online tools and skill sets for success.