No one will dispute, I think, that South Africa’s economy is in a bit of a funk right now. With commodity prices at an all time low, our mines (the erstwhile mainstay of our GDP) mothballing or closing operations, social and political unrest, and oh yes the threat of country being down graded to junk status – the outlook is a little bleak to say the least. And it’s especially in these times, when cutbacks are first made to marketing, training and consulting. We thought it no better time, to reassert the benefits of PR especially in a down economy.
Taking a leaf from our colleagues Frazier Heiby in the US, whose market is also in the throws of challenges, we outline five reasons why:
There’s no other discipline that’s able to deliver more value for less cost than public relations. Just as Donald Trump, and some of our own leaders (good and bad) have benefitted enormously from “free” media, public relations knows how to get your brand attention in the media (both online and off), resulting in stories that reach your target audiences en masse. There’s no better ROI than that.
- Credible perception
Since PR is a third-party discipline, it capitalizes on telling brand stories through the voices of others, whether it’s the news media or your own customers’ brand experiences. Telling a consistent story through the voices of others on owned, earned and shared (social) channels is the most credible way to drive positive perceptions toward your brand or issue.
When times get harder, people look for the most trustworthy sources of information. Consumers will still spend, even in a down economy, but they will do so with brands and organizations where they feel the deepest connection. PR strategies foster that relationship.
In jittery times, people will often react to the first thing they hear about a brand or trend. Only through PR can your organization act instantly in response to any news that misrepresents your value proposition to the marketplace. For your marketing efforts to be nimble and most effective, this advantage is a “must.”
- Mind Share
With PR, the investment you make in a softer economy is amplified even more against competitors who back off their marketing budgets. That means you can steal market share and business opportunities with the right program in place – one that is led by a sound PR strategy.
The fact is, PR works in any economy, and especially in down times. Is your company prepared to take full advantage of a cost-efficient PR strategy in 2016 and beyond? At Pleiades Media we specialise in strategic public relations, call us for a no-obligation consultation and we’ll give you 60 minutes to convert you to PR’s value.