When I first started my career, it was almost unheard of that PR would be represented around the boardroom table. Over the years I’m pleased that in the most part this has been addressed. In this blog, we explore why PR belongs around the boardroom table.
Reputation is the most important asset a company has at its disposal. It can be used to the advantage of an organisation or ignored to the detriment of that brand. The choice lies firmly with the business.
PR is the specialism that ties firmly into the management of that asset.
When a company launches, it is now common practice for a business to invest in PR. It may be for a one-off project or for a more sustained period. The latter will always deliver stronger results, but it isn’t always possible for every organisation to recognise this from the outset.
The idea behind establishing a brand is to communicate with an audience that will become receptive to its message. How a company chooses to do this is up to them. The approach can be different every time, but the objective remains the same; to educate prospective customers about a product or service.
When we think about how important this one piece of work is, we start to appreciate why these decisions need to be made by senior managers. We are relying on a team of experts to communicate effectively with the chosen audience and in turn evoke a response.
Customers are essential for business. You wouldn’t leave that level of responsibility with just anyone. There is a huge emphasis on trust. As such, the person leading this team needs a seat around the boardroom table.
Once a brand has been established, it needs to be maintained. We cannot expect that communicating once with an audience will ever be good enough. In a world where there are marketing messages surrounding us all, we need to gain cut through.
Consistency is fundamental at this stage of the process. Having a clear plan that will give a brand the opportunity to share updates, news and further launches will keep an audience interested. As well as attracting new prospective customers, it’s also about building affinity and resonance with those that have purchased.
The journey with PR never ends. It may take slightly different directions however the idea is to take your customers with you. Brands that create real loyalty are those that do this the best. They are also the ones that recognise the value of PR and its role around the boardroom table.
Brand building comes in many forms. It could be about retaining a fresh image and using current language in all communications. In this example, we are referring to PR and the use of a sustainable plan to build a brand over time.
Having a schedule of activity will allow any company to test an idea, measure the results and review. The beauty of PR is that it evolves over time. Any plan can change at the drop of a hat, so flexibility and being agile is key.
The hardest brands to work with are those that don’t really understand PR or what it is used for. It’s those that consider it to be a ‘nice to have’. Anything that is a nice to have is never going to be a priority and PR should be.
For businesses of all sizes, to manage your communications should be an objective. As well as using media relations and content to educate an audience, PR can also be used during a crisis. This is when companies see the immediate value. It shouldn’t come to that.
Establishing, maintaining and building a reputation
Establishing, maintaining and building a reputation are all skills that will allow a business to become a success it deserves to be. Having the person or team responsible for that around the boardroom table makes perfect sense.
PR should be considered as important as finance. A company would never function without some knowledge of where the budgets are going. The same can be said for communications. If you are unaware of who is saying what about your business and to whom, perhaps you only have yourself to blame.
Give PR the place it deserves in your business and see how it benefits your bottom line.