The ROI Performance of PR in the Enterprise
Strategic PR is not easy to quantify, but it can deliver big-time in ways that marketing and sales programs can’t. Good PR and corporate communications programs are well integrated into a company’s overall business communications and complement, supplement, and augment all related programs and initiatives.
For the enterprise, PR provides significant ROI, although the “return” is perhaps best measured in an enhanced reputation that carries long-term benefits for companies as they build upon the trust and goodwill they’ve earned. Even so, corporations employing strategic PR can expect tangible results that ultimately profit their business in several key areas.
While it may not be exactly true that reality is perception and perception is reality, it’s true enough when it comes to having an impact on the bottom line. Effective public relations can have widespread effects into every aspect of your business by elevating your company’s reputation among shareholders, employees, journalists, surrounding communities, and the public at large. Not to mention existing customers and potential prospects.
This makes it easier to meet company objectives across the board, from investment to business development to recruiting. It’s always nice when “your reputation precedes you,” if that reputation is a good and trusted one.
Getting through Times of Crisis
Ben Franklin equated saved pennies with earned ones, and in that case PR is invaluable in times of crisis. It can help you respond the right way and earn endorsements to your position from all vested stakeholders, including investors, customers and your own employees.
When a crisis strikes, it’s critical for enterprise firms to protect market share. A well-defined crisis management strategy—and the right PR team to implement it—can ultimately mean the difference between success and failure.
Bolstering Sales and Marketing
Sales campaigns are always considered to have a straightforward, identifiable effect on enterprise ROI, but public relations programs have an indirect—and sometimes direct—effect on their success. By enhancing company reputation and creating awareness of a company’s products and services, PR educates and informs customers and prospects, shortening sales cycles. Better yet, good press coverage lends credibility to sales collateral in the form of reprints and is a selling point that often closes deals.
PR’s Domino Effect and Gauging Its Success
Even effective public relations can be subtle. Its effects unnoticed until one day the phone starts ringing and ringing with inbound leads, the webmaster notes spikes in website traffic like never before. PR can help spike sales, positively impact marketing campaigns, and boost company morale and recruitment. For this reason, strategic PR is often best measured by determining if attainable objectives have been conducted and met. When done well, the results speak for themselves.
Thoughts or comments? I welcome your feedback. Contact me at:
About: Ann Stephenson is CEO and founder of Stephenson Group Public Relations, and PayPerClip, a pay-for-performance public relations agency.