The benefits of PR extend far beyond the typical media relations and marketing activity it has become associated with. For businesses to truly enhance and maintain their reputation, PR should have a voice across all departments.
Known as boundary spanning, it moves PR away from being seen as a mere tactic under the marketing umbrella, to advising on key business decisions to help overall company growth.
For HR teams, PR can assist with the attraction and retention of talent. The right PR activity, including identifying and placing key messages, can shape the organisation as the best to work for. This will attract better quality applications, as well as increase volume.
Internal communications and involving staff in external PR activity builds strong relationships between employee and employer, helping keep staff turnover levels low.
Customer service operatives play a huge role in influencing what the public and other stakeholders think of the company. Fusing PR and reputation management into the customer service team will help everyone understand the impact they have on the business’ reputation, and ultimately sales.
For example, if a customer has an avoidable negative experience and leaves a bad review online, this potentially stops more people becoming customers and therefore affects business growth.
It’s the same for the sales department. Discussions with and presentations from the PR team will illustrate the importance of having a positive reputation and, more importantly, how sales techniques impact this.
For example, if a sales representative builds interest in a product or service, the potential customer will search online for the brand to find out more. If they encounter negative reviews about being lied to or misled by a sales person, chances are they won’t become customers. This means no conversion and no commission.
Of course, PR can help the marketing function in much the same way. Marketing activity tends to focus on getting the brand out there via a myriad of tactics. PR helps to push this further by ensuring potential readers or viewers trust the organisation behind the message.
For example, a marketing executive may have been tasked with carrying out social media work to make the brand more visible. Integrating PR here will ensure that the content improves reputations and is fully aligned to business goals.