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How PR Can Raise Brand Awareness For Your Business

 


By Saffron Shergill, PR Lead at Digital Ethos

For businesses looking to expand their reach, improving brand awareness should be a goal underpinning their marketing strategy. Social media is a great tool to use for this but an activity which puts brand awareness at the core of its offering is PR. Also known as Public Relations, PR is perfect for bringing your brand to the public’s attention, with experts in the PR industry consistently honing their skills and tools to get your brand in relevant media publications.

Saffron Shergill, PR Lead at digital marketing agency Digital Ethos, outlines the following to explain how PR can boost public awareness of your business.

What is PR?

PR is a set of techniques and strategies related to managing how information about an individual or company is offered to the public – essentially making sure your business is maintaining a positive reputation and acknowledging negative press appropriately (known as crisis communication). PR usually includes stunts, press releases, interviews and collaborations with other brands among other avenues.   

How Can PR Raise Public Awareness?

  1. Increasing your authority

By conducting a link intersect, PR professionals can compile a list and analyse the linked coverage which your competitors have received, focusing on publications where you have not yet been featured. This demonstrates which topics are working well for your competitors, as well as providing a list of publications for you to target with future PR activity. Using this information, PR professionals can work towards the goal of gaining backlinks to your website in the same places as your competitors and discussing topics to raise your authority. The more the gap is closed between your brand and your competitors, the more it will improve your search result position to keep you front and center in your industry.

Authority can be thought of as how qualified you are to talk about a subject depending on how much knowledge you hold. For example, if you are a hairdresser and salon owner, you have the authority to talk about which haircuts suit certain face shapes. Your PR team can use this to their advantage and can pitch you to relevant publications to be the spokesperson on a topic. If trends on Google are showing an influx of search terms relating to your industry, your PR team can send out a press release relevant to the search query, including your name and a link to your business’ website to drive traffic and boost your authority.  

Just like a cat waits for the perfect moment to pounce, PR professionals can leverage opportunities like this quite quickly to raise your business’ public profile and provide authority on the conversation before the interest dies down.  

With reactive PR, timing is crucial and if an opportunity is worth the reward, it is often executed with a ‘drop everything’ approach. 

  1. Reaching your target audience

Press coverage is also going to put your brand in front of new readers that aren’t currently part of your existing audience. You can zone in here and reach out to publications and communities that are relevant to your business – making it more likely that traffic to your website is going to be more relevant to your brand.

There are a plethora of PR tools that professionals use such as Roxhill and Buzzstream to sniff out publications which are relevant to your industry. A press release can have multiple angles on the same subject and if a survey has been conducted for your PR strategy, a wider scope of audiences will be reached.

  1. Validation for new businesses

If you’re soon to be launching your business and looking to drum up interest, a PR strategy from the beginning would be beneficial. If your business gets featured in a widely known publication such as Forbes or Vogue (which is possible!) then this will gain the attention needed to bring traffic to your business before it’s even properly off the ground. This way you have peace of mind that you have already gathered a small audience interested in your product or service to hype up the launch. 

  1. Make an impression locally

Whilst gaining coverage in local publications may not seem as ‘glamorous’ as national publications featuring your business, it can certainly pack a punch and is the bread and butter of PR for many professionals. If your business is small and has the target audience of a local community, then it makes sense for your PR team to target local publications first then move on to include some bigger titles within the media landscape. Readers of local papers want to read about local news, stories and events so if your PR team can help a journalist deliver this, then you are well on the way to getting valuable press coverage for your business.

An advantage with new businesses which are seeing success is that local press will likely want to be involved in the positive story – especially if your sales have been extremely good in comparison to how long your business has been public. Local publications have a duty to report what’s going on in the area, including positive and uplifting stories, whereas national media may want a negative story to sensationalise.