Most SMEs underestimate and underutilize the potential of public relations.
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When it comes to marketing, there are a number of subconscious biases that play a large role in consumer decision-making. Some of the more notable biases include fear of missing out, anchoring bias, authority bias and arguably the most important, social proof.
The top three areas in which you can get ahead of your competition when it comes to social proof are testimonials, case studies and public relations (PR). PR is utilized by brands to grow their audience, get more exposure and ultimately, position themselves as the go-to in their industry.
Without the right knowledge or connections however, the majority of small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) will never get any kind of organic PR. With competition at an all time high and trust at an all time low, SMEs need to be prioritizing more media and PR for their brand, in order to stay relevant, amplify their message and improve their brand position in the market — here’s why.
In business, trust is something that can take years to build. With many companies not getting their first clients for several months despite having an amazing product or service, it can be a long road to the first testimonial or case study. With a lack of social proof, companies experience snail-paced growth, as trust is one of the foundations of a business transaction. Actively managing and pursuing PR opportunities is an excellent brand-building exercise, to not just build trust but to leverage third party credibility. This alone can rapidly increase the growth of a company in its early stages.
In the modern era of social media, so much of business comes down to the way a brand is positioned. Sadly, this often comes in the form of vanity metrics such as followers, likes and engagement. When it comes to PR, your brand is the one you want to be seen in notable media outlets, showing your countless press articles, interviews and news features. This shows prospects and even your competition that you are the go to in the industry, thanks in part to the authority bias. All else is equal, brands positioned the best will win over the long run.
Related: Public Relations
Building a digital footprint
Google is by far the most-used search engine in the world, and it’s proven that it’s not going anywhere. Now, if someone were to search for you or your company, there are four possible results: Bad press, no press, good press or somebody else with the same name as you. It’s pretty obvious which of the four we would want. Having articles that rank well and show up for your company’s name, and even related search terms, shows people who are researching your brand that you are a credible and trusted source, and one that they would want to do business with.
As the saying goes, “It can take 20 years to build a good reputation, and only 30 seconds to destroy it’. In business, reputation is everything. PR is the perfect way to manage your reputation and put out content and messaging that is congruent with your brand and how you’d like to be perceived. In a world where reputation is everything, we should all be doing everything we can to uphold it.