A Valued Tool for the B2B Sector
By John Sacke
President, Sacke & Associates Inc.
As a 16-year PR practitioner, I hear from time-to-time, “We can’t afford public relations!.” To that I say two things, “You can’t afford not to do it”, and “It’s not as expensive as you think.”
True, sometimes PR’s value may be less than obvious, but whether visible or not, PR is more valuable today than ever before, mostly thanks to the Internet’s domination and use as businesses’ greatest and most efficient communications tool.
When PR creates, reinforces or changes opinions by reaching, persuading and ‘moving-to-desired-action’ the people whose behaviors positively affect your organization,
the mission is accomplished. Your audience’s behaviors are key to your organization’s success. If those audiences don’t behave as you would like them to, achieving your organization’s most important goals and objectives becomes almost impossible.
Public opinion allows businesses to succeed. PR’s most significant contribution to organizational achievement is the strategic ability to create, change or reinforce existing public perception and behaviors. This is the very talent that in many cases leads to business success.
Public relations problems are usually defined by what people think about a set of facts versus the truth. But how people perceive the facts leads inevitably to very real, predictable behaviors which can create a clear and present problem to which PR commits its resources.
Equally valuable is public relations’ ability to follow up with carefully selected tactics designed to reach target audiences with effective communications. PR can create and tailor persuasive messages designed to influence consumers’ perception/behavior, and to gain momentum and impact by implementing those tactics with pinpoint accuracy and timing. These tactics can include social media, news releases, media interviews and numerous other initiatives to increase the company’s profile.
The bottom line: When you measure the real effectiveness of PR, you should be satisfied with the results when your ‘reach, persuade and move-to-action’ efforts produce a tangible change in the behaviors of those people you wish to influence.