More and more organizations are coming to view public relations as an investment rather than a cost. They are finding that, when used effectively, PR is uniquely capable of delivering the kind of reach and connection that drives consumer buy in and loyalty. At the center of this perspective is the recognition that PR is no longer a soft marketing discipline. Increasingly powerful and effective digital tools are allowing us to deliver results that are measurable, precise and accurate—with global reach and real time tracking ability.
Nowhere is the growing power of public relations more apparent than in crisis and reputation management. Again and again we see that, at times of crises, organizations that have invested in their reputation suffer much less damage than those who did not. And these days, it is safe to say that every company will experience a crisis of some shape or another. Some may be at the magnitude of BP; some may be over the course of 24-hours and seem small in comparison. But given the unpredictable nature of any crisis, and digital media’s ability to serve as an accelerant, all crises must be taken seriously.
What many of us in public relations have long understood is that effective crisis management comes from focusing on brand reputation every day—not just when there is a crisis. As organizations continue to witness and experience PR’s ability to strengthen relationships with stakeholders, as well as minimize and mitigate crises, they are coming to recognize that there is no greater, more efficient or cost effective way to invest in brand equity than public relations.