Public relations – it’s an unfamiliar industry to most, but it’s also one of the most effective ways to ensure business success.

But, what is public relations? What does public relations do for your business? Why is it important? And is public relations the same as marketing?

If you’re asking these questions – you’ve come to the right place!

On the No Bullsh*T Talks podcast, our CEO Jo Caruana recently chatted to with host Sabrina Chevannes about what public relations is, what it can (and can’t) do for you, and how to use PR to help your business thrive.

Keep reading to learn Jo’s thoughts on messaging and content, strategies for successful PR, and the innovative future of the field. You can also listen to the podcast to learn extra business-saving PR hacks!

Public Relations and Marketing: Two sides of the same coin

If you’ve ever wondered what the difference between marketing and public relations is, don’t worry. You’re not alone!

While differing in definition, they serve similar functions and work together to communicate your message and create positive chatter around your organisation. To be successful, you simply can’t have one without the other.

The difference

Marketing is the message you want to put out into the world and it’s all the content you put out there when you are talking about your own products or services.

Public relations highlights how you want others to view and speak about you – whether in the media, through influencers, or by classic (but often underestimated) word of mouth.

Being involved with communications and media in 2022 means keeping up with the constantly evolving nature of trends. This perpetual change can be overwhelming, leaving you feeling left behind and out of the loop.

But remember: there is never one ‘right’ way! The guidelines remain the same no matter the trend: know who your audience is, where your audience is, and how to speak to them. For instance, it might be just as powerful to get exposure on a niche YouTube channel that your clients love rather than appearing on the Today Show or Good Morning Britain.

For marketing and public relations, it’s about going out and reaching your audience where they are and speaking in a way that resonates with them.

The crux? Create the content that will grab your desired audience’s attention and speak to them in a way that calls them to action.

Do I Need Public Relations? Let’s find out!

If you’re asking the question above, consider these additional queries.

Are you starting to grow? If yes: are other people talking about us?

If you feel your brand is going places, but not enough people are talking about you – you need PR! Your products may be flying off the shelves, but if not enough people are excited about your brand or don’t know enough about you, then PR is the answer.

Is there an untold story?

Self-awareness is critical in this process, and there are right and wrong reasons for seeking PR. Just wanting to be famous is not a sustainable move for success in a PR campaign. It’s essential to look inward, consider where you sit among your competitors and consider what story you have to tell that will be of value to others.

The world is increasingly about personal connections. The power of the consumer is massive. Where people want to spend their money comes down to a value-set match. So, if you’re struggling, get introspective on how your values can align with your target audience, then start storytelling!

Do I bring something different to the table?

The biggest mistake people make is telling their audience why they’re best and not why they’re different. It’s not beneficial to say, “I’m great! Choose me!”. Many businesses claim to be great, but how do people choose between ‘great’ and ‘great’?

Clients need differentiation and a compelling story.

Becoming Authoritative: Penny-pinching strategies

Let’s face it – PR can be expensive. What do you do when there’s no budget? Of course, you want PR, but you’re starting up and can’t afford front-page covers or airtime.

The truth is you don’t need pricey methods to get priceless results.

Because PR comes in various forms, there are plenty of ways to get started without breaking the bank. Simple networking is one of the most powerful (and easy) tools in your PR kit. Put yourself in a space where your ideal client hangs out, and they will see you as a value-added authority. That’s your first step – and it’s free!

Tips: If you want to become an authoritative figure while differentiating yourself from competitors, consider joining your local Chamber of Commerce, guest blogging, or teaming up with an influencer with a small following. Simply putting yourself out in your local community and becoming more well-known within a small space is what you should be doing.

PR is about adding value to a space. From years of experience, I can tell you that standing out from the crowd is always possible. So, find what makes you different and talk about it!

The Future of PR: Human connection in a digital age

Where do I start?

Understanding your audience and ideal client is essential in understanding the future of PR.

You should ask, “Where is my audience?”. What podcasts do they listen to? What YouTube channels are they watching? What influencers do they care about? It’s crucial to understand that your client may not be where you are!

After identifying where to reach your audience, you need to make a human connection. While the world has gone through an unprecedented period of digital connection, the human connection is unbeatable – so, take your PR and make it human!

How do I start?

Speak to people in person, hold an in-person event, take a photo and send it to your local media organisation or ask an influencer to attend and film your event in exchange for a free ticket. You need to find ways to connect with clients on a very personal level. The bottom line – the future of PR is human.

Remember – people connect with people!

Personalities are critical for PR today, and having a personal brand is becoming increasingly important. You must be willing to put yourself out there to grow your personal brand!

Drawing from Donald Miller’s StoryBrand (which is one of the frameworks we love most here at the Finesse Group – because we are StoryBrand Certified after all!), you should put your client’s client at the story’s centre. Make them the hero and position your client as the guide. Show how you will improve the hero’s life – don’t get hung up talking about yourself and what you bring to the table. Instead, make a human connection and show your audience how you will solve their problems!

If you found this helpful, read below to find out how the Finesse Group can take your business further!

Get Finessed: Am I ready for this?

Finesse takes an outside eye and brings a fresh perspective on things that are easy to miss using an internal approach. We want to do it with you, not for you.

We start with a simple consultancy call to understand your brand’s potential. Then, we offer monthly recommendations for simple things you can do in your community and industry.

If your goal is to build up over time, gain confidence and speak in a way where you are known as a known authority in your niche – Finesse is for you!

Connect with Jo directly on WhatsApp on +356 9946 2273 and discuss what PR opportunities you can uncover in your space!

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