5 Reasons A PR Strategy Is More Critical Than Ever

Apr 15, 2024

It’s true the world of communications faces numerous challenges. Influencers blur the lines between content and advertising, fake news twists fiction to resemble fact, and AI challenges the careers of media professionals. Some might say the PR industry is outdated in the face of these challenges, but if anything, they’ve only further proved the need for a PR strategy.

From its earliest inception, public relations has always been about control of the narrative. The first press release was sent by Ivy Lee (a Georgia native, by the way) on behalf of the Pennsylvania Railroad Company when a small train came off the track and fell into a lake, killing 50 people. Rather than risk the press getting their information from ill sources, Lee sent a straightforward message to the major papers and even sent a train for journalists to come and see the site themselves.

His invitation was not a smokescreen to sway public opinion to the railroad’s side. In fact, Lee, who went on to found the first public relations agency, was adamant that companies be open and honest with the public when it came to matters that affected their interests. But he also understood the importance of narrative. How the information was presented, the tone and the intent behind the words were just as important as getting the information in front of the public.

Fast forward a few centuries later, and PR remains an essential tool for business success and reputation, especially in today’s harrowing media landscape. Here are five reasons public relations remains an important part of your business strategy:

  1. Fake News – It has muddied the senses, removed reason and created ambiguity because readers fail to pay enough attention to the source. Online platforms are purposefully creative that way. That’s why long-established outlets that are often fed content by the PR industry remain necessary.
  1. Negative Reviews – Every company has negative reviews. It’s a little like saying every person has at least one relationship that didn’t end well. Fault is not always a one-way street, either. Legitimate PR strategies help balance negative reviews that may or may not be fair or accurate.
  1. Cost of Paid – It’s a thriving industry, no doubt. The big and the small platforms have mastered monetization, and everyone wants a piece of it. We believe the most effective strategy is a balance of PR with Growth Marketing. And it’s easier on your wallet.
  1. Affiliate Game – While we are sensitive to overspending on paid media, affiliate is a necessary game we must play, and no one can maximize your minimal commissions better than the PR side of the house. So, give a little commission for the national magazine hit. You may find “Earned Leadgen” to be whitespace for your brand.
  1. Message Control – Public relations – releases, bylines, case studies, op-eds, blogs – still allow us to control the message—lean heavily into owned content to balance the noise from those who are often less knowledgeable.

The media landscape isn’t getting any less complicated. As an established field, public relations has the experience and tactics to help your brand navigate the tricky waters of communication effectively and efficiently.