The Power of PR During Economic Uncertainty
Political or social instability, stock market crashes, new fiscal policies, asset bubble bursts and psychological factors have all been named culprits of economic decline at one point or another. Exactly what tips the scale or who is to blame is often hard to pinpoint. But while it is not always obvious what causes the economy to take a fall, it is easier to recognize when business begins to lag. Layoffs and budget cuts are among the most obvious signs. The hardest-hit department? Marketing. But while communications and advertising professionals regularly take a hit during hard times, their work can be the biggest driver of recovery for a business. Below are three reasons why it is worth investing in PR during periods of economic downturn.
1. PR is the foundation for revenue growth.
The bedrock of any business is how they communicate and express their values to the world. Some form of it can be found almost everywhere you look: on the side of a truck driving past you on the highway, within your social media feeds, at the top of your Google searches, throughout the latest news article and the list goes on. PR and marketing agencies or in-house teams produce the external face of a company and brand as well as of the people working in it. They build credibility for the consumer and increase a business’s visibility, while also helping to introduce or amplify products and services into the market. All of which eventually results in sales. Cutting back on PR or marketing only prevents clients from learning about the brand, building loyalty toward it and coming back for more.
2. PR is essential for employee and customer retention.
Communication is essential when there are unexpected changes to a company. Everyone from employees and clients to stakeholders and suppliers needs to be promptly informed of any shifts to avoid a mass exodus and the collapse of the company altogether. PR experts can help develop strategies on how to get your message properly seen and heard, from developing sensitive emails that will ruffle as few feathers as possible to reaffirming a business’s commitment to its people on social media.
Proactively sharing updates is also important and will allow you to stay ahead of competitors while maintaining trust through transparency. When some information is held back, it can be tempting to fill in the blanks with the worst-case scenario. Even if a leader doesn’t have all the answers, PR professionals can help communicate what they do know so nobody jumps ship without knowing what they’ll leave behind. Maintaining trust with stakeholders by strategically sharing what you do know is one of the best investments. PR can reduce the anxiety and nerves stakeholders might be feeling during these unprecedented times.
3. PR helps companies pivot and adapt when times get tough.
PR teams can help make quick pivots to accommodate new or evolving customer needs, while also demonstrating why they should put their faith and finances behind a company through clearly presented and easily digestible reporting. How a business presents itself externally matters. By keeping companies in touch with their audiences and aligning external messaging with internal progress, PR professionals ensure the right people know the right information at the right time – which is central to accelerating change. Some PR agencies, such as The Bliss Group, also offer services outside of traditional earned media like risk management advising and crisis communications.
To combat these uncertain times, companies must be consistent and maintain a presence in the media. Client trust will only increase if they see you out there alongside them, acknowledging the challenges at hand and expressing a willingness to help them find a path forward.
By Olivia Sakhai
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