There are functions of any business deemed essential – accounting, human resources, sales – and then there are functions that far too many believe unnecessary. Public relations (PR) is one of them. That’s a mistake businesses often don’t realize until they’ve spent valuable time and money only to achieve lackluster results. For example, Forbes cites a study from Nielsen commissioned by inPowered that concluded that PR is almost 90% more effective than advertising. But PR is a specialized skill set often confused with marketing. However, the two are very different, which is why lumping PR in with the responsibilities of your marketing team isn’t always the best choice. On the other hand, outsourcing PR consulting can be a game-changer. Here’s why.

Why Your Business Needs PR Consulting

1. Shapes Your Reputation and Message 


PR Consulting

When your business is presented in a positive light through outside sources versus direct communications from you to the customer alone, it does wonders to improve your brand’s reputation. That’s why relationships with the media and influencers are so important. Cultivating and maintaining those relationships is a key component of PR consulting. 

What’s more, your customers need to be aware of your business’s brand positioning and the benefit and value of your product/service in a way that resonates with them consistently. PR can help you relay those messages effectively across multiple channels.

2. Drives Awareness

Your target audience can’t buy your products or services unless they know about them. That’s why driving awareness is so vital to businesses. Having direct media contacts is the key to ensuring your message is shared in the right places at the right time. Unfortunately, most businesses neither have the time nor the expertise to cultivate and maintain these relationships. However, PR consulting firms do!  

Another part of driving awareness is staying relevant to your audience. A business only has so much news to share. But PR consulting firms stay on top of trends and opportunities to pitch your brand in a way that’s relevant to what’s going on in your industry, with your target audience, and in the world. 

3. Boosts Credibility

PR Consulting

Consumers don’t take businesses at face value anymore. They ask questions and want to know your brand before buying. In fact, Edelman’s Trust Barometer found that 70 percent of consumers say trusting a brand is more important today than in the past. What’s more, 53 percent agree that trusting the business behind the brand is the second most important factor (only to price) when purchasing.

As such, PR consulting that helps you to be featured in the media, trade publications, and/or by trusted influencers will boost your credibility (and, as a result, trust) in a way that no advertising and direct communications from you can. 

4. Reaches a Wider Audience

Most businesses don’t have unlimited budgets, and advertising is costly, particularly when it comes to national campaigns. On the other hand, a PR consulting firm has the expertise to help you reach a wider audience with earned media. However, this organic coverage is harder to achieve on your own without the right media connections.

Another benefit of earned media coverage is that you may receive news mentions introducing your business to new audiences that you’ve never considered before!

5. Gives You an Edge over Competitors

As mentioned above, PR isn’t often seen as necessary because it doesn’t directly drive sales in the way marketing does (although it does indirectly by driving leads). And while competitors are ignoring those top-of-the-funnel activities and trying to figure out how to stretch their limited marketing budget to attract more interest, those who are proactive about PR enjoy a robust funnel of leads. This, in turn, gives your business an edge by allowing you to focus marketing on increasing sales conversion.

6. Enhances Online Presence

PR Consulting

You may not realize that PR and SEO have similar goals, including brand awareness. For example, high-quality backlinks from credible media sources (or influencers) can help your website move up higher in search results which drives more organic traffic. Brand mentions as a result of your PR consulting efforts can also help you rank higher for specific keywords in Google as well, particularly local brand mentions. 

7. Generates More Leads

Again, if you think of the sales cycle as a funnel, PR is at the top, where awareness, credibility, and engagement are cultivated, versus the bottom of the funnel, where the sale is closed. Marketing can only do so much at the top of the funnel for several reasons: budget limitations and the resulting reach limitations, not to mention lack of staying power. 

Once an ad or campaign has run its paid course, it’s done. Whereas those news mentions have legs, they can be found long after publication. So, PR drives lead in the short and long term, consistently generating more leads overall.

8. Attracts Investors and Brand Partners

PR consulting can help your business get in front of VCs and other investors in a way that increases your credibility. It helps them learn about your brand as a potential investment option. PR can also help you find brand partners by raising awareness among those with complementary products and services.

9. Effective Crisis Management

Crises can and will happen. Whether it’s a problem with your product/service, an issue in the industry, or some unforeseen event. In these circumstances, your PR consulting firm’s crisis management strategy is vital in helping you quickly share information, address the impact on your customers, and let them know how you’re remedying the issue(s). 

A good PR consulting firm can also help you to identify any potential vulnerabilities proactively, too.

How Do You Choose the Right PR Consulting Firm?

To ensure the PR consulting firm, you choose is a fit for your brand, industry, budget, and goals, ask about their specialty, clients, whom you’ll work with daily, their working style, and how they measure success.

To learn more about PR consulting, contact us to schedule a call!