How Good Public Relations Affect Brand Perception.
Public opinions can make or mar your company. And in this age of the internet where a tweet sent from the corner of the earth can go viral in hours, public opinions have a higher impact on brand perception. Therefore, as a brand, the onus lies on you to make sure to control the narrative of how your brand is perceived by your publics. You cannot afford to leave it to the hands of fate because the winds can blow anywhere and you want to make sure that the wind is always blowing in your favour.
Sure, certain situations outside your control might spring up, however, a company that has its public relations (PR) down pat will find it easier handling it than one that doesn’t. This is what separates most big and lasting brands from others; they’ve been able to use public relations to their advantage. Just in case you need more convincing, in this article, I have highlighted how good public relations affect brand perception to show you why you should leverage PR to enhance your brand’s reputation. Let’s look at them.
Crises are imminent; they are also usually unforeseen. A speciality of PR is crisis management. If an accident happens at one of your branches or there’s a robbery, or even a customer dying after using your product, PR uses tools such as fact sheets and press releases to deal with these crises. The benefit is that PR uses the truth to handle crises rather than lies. This is because lies always resurface and more lies would be needed to cover them up. Lies eventually get exposed and you would lose your customers and shareholders. Public relations focuses on securing your publics’ trust in your brand’s ability to satisfy their needs despite the crises.
Public Relations affect brand perception through internal relations. A company that has issues with its staff can give off a bad perception to the public. People won’t be ready to associate with your company if you can’t maintain order in your internal affairs. Employees striking or resigning can affect the public’s perception of your brand.
Public Relations can serve as a bridge between you and your employees. PR uses tools such as newsletters, informational bulletin boards, and internet postings etc. to strengthen communication between the management and its employees. Public Relations would make efforts to ensure your employees’ needs are met in a way that benefits the company at large. A company with cooperative employees gives a sense of reliability and trust which is good brand perception.
Community Relations Program
One of the tools public relations uses to maintain the goodwill of a brand and its publics is community relations. Public Relations urges the brand to perform a form of community service to the community where the company is located. It could be health awareness events, or academic competitions, or sporting competitions. The point of this is to have good relations with the community through impact. Every community also has its policies and it is Public Relations that keeps assuring the community that these policies are being respected.
Publications are a very important tool used in PR to maintain brand image. PROs do not only make publications about the company and its activities, they also look out for publications that could harm the brand.
PR dismisses any damaging publication by immediately countering it swiftly with their publications. This PR speciality can be very useful to you especially now that people can pass comments or spread unverified rumours on the internet without consequence. Grieved employees could leak company affairs to the public easily via social media just to mar your brand image.
Public Relations Officers (PROs) are always on alert for such publications to quickly contain them from escalating. The major benefit of the publication tool used by PR is the content. A publication that contains unprofessional, ignorant or non-factual content could worsen your situation. Good PROs use publications in a way that satisfies your publics and saves the brand’s image.
Planning and Execution of Events
PR creates and tailor events to suit specific purposes. An event could be organized to gain publicity, or for community relations, for internal relations, for the financial publics, or to redeem a brand’s reputation in times of crises. Some of these events include sporting events; health awareness events, charity, company outings, special dinners or company award nights. PROs also set the events to times that would best fulfil their purpose and still benefit the brand.
Public relations affect brand perception by organizing events. PROs do not organize events unless they would benefit the company in the long run. Depending on the aim of an event, it will positively affect people’s perception of your brand.
Publics who influence a brand’s finances are very important to its survival. Financial publics include the banks and other bodies that can influence your brand’s finances. So, good PRO direct their efforts at protecting a brand’s financial reputation and its stock prices. PR constantly communicates with the financial Publics by presenting regular financial results and stock market movements.
PROs offer advice to the CEO or management on what decisions are appropriate for the brand’s financial reputation. Financial PR’s main goal is ensuring that your financial publics do not withdraw their financial involvement in your brand. A good financial reputation gives people a good perception of your brand. People will be willing to have a financial involvement in your brand because of its strong financial perception.
You can simply set a team with Public Relations Officials (PROs) to handle your public relations affairs. Or you could set a contract with a public relations firm to have more experts working to maintain your brand image.
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