5 Ways Public Relations Can Help Professional Services Firms
Public relations (PR), at its core, is applied communications. It is much more than accounting, legal, management consulting, and financial planning firms - it is arguably the most important facet for any professional services firm.
Reputation is essential to acquiring customers. This is particularly important as professional services uphold a common identity and are regulated by tradition and a code of ethics. Therefore, from a customer’s perspective, the customer value is in the form of the benefits they receive relative to the costs they give up. What happens when the service is unable to meet customer expectations? This can bring implications for a firm’s reputation if clients feel they no longer want to seek your services.
Professional services firms are quite reliant on ‘human talent’; it is what allows them to increase loyalty and therefore, retention. However, incorporating public relations into your firm will retain your clients and improve profitability.
What can public relations do for your firm? Here are 5 ways:
When you dedicate your business time to communicate with your public, you can automatically bridge the gap between yourself and them. Public relations builds consumer trust and drives your current and future campaigns in becoming trustworthy and genuine. Third party validation is essential for a firm, as it builds organic buzz around your services. When a client trusts a brand, they are more likely to stay loyal to it. A firm with high credibility is one that can generate leads, attract investors, recruit talent, retain existing employees, as well as gain message clarity. To protect the goodwill of your firm, it is integral to invest in public relations. We are seeing more and more companies implementing PR practices in their marketing strategies. Not only does it increase trust with your audience, but it also enhances your credibility over competitors.
In a survey seeking to measure an individual’s assessment of creativity and business growth, 80% of business leaders believe that harnessing creativity may contribute to economic growth. Today’s marketplace requires innovation, and having a sense of creativity allows a firm to grow even further with the assistance of PR. In fact, combining marketing and public relations together can help bring out the best ideas.
Public relations build reputation and are much more than press releases or press conferences. It minimizes damage to your firm’s brand in times of crises - small or significant - with crisis management, social media management, blogs, and promotions. Many companies and firms believe they are capable of handling public relations internally, but the reality is, that method is much more dangerous in its practice. Every firm needs public relations when it comes to expressing their thoughts in front of their target audience. They are specialists who are professional when it comes to handling any type of communications - good or bad. Reputation management comes in the form of public relations, not only does it protect the brand, but it may reduce customer and employee turnover and negative criticism. PR has the ability to protect your brand and overcome any obstacle.
While most businesses rely on the return on investment (ROI), the impact of public relations is much more appreciable in the long term. In this digital economy, measuring success has become much easier with online traffic and inbound leads. PR allows you to measure your campaign’s success by intensifying the reliability between your firm and the public. Ideally, the use of PR allows you to measure whether your messages are being received the way you intended. The best way to follow up on impact is to quantify digital reach by measuring all interactions to gain a clearer picture of the overall reach. An example of this is measuring inbound lead generation and web traffic as success metrics. If the public relations team is effective, you should be able to notice an increase in traffic to your website and firm.
Compared to other B2B companies, professional services firms carry a different business model. Being able to cover more than selling expertise and knowledge with the assistance of public relations. To sustain your firm’s growth with a PR partner, not only promotes the firm’s skills and service offerings, but can give your firm its own market niche. It is possible to enhance your business growth with public relations, as these specialists are experts in growing brands. By knowing what works best for your firm and your industry, PR can assist you in publicizing your firm in a positive light by creating optimized branded content for distribution on all media channels. If you are wanting to see a return on investment (ROI), public relations will deliver exceptional value for money in the long-run.
If you’re looking to differentiate your professional services firm, utilize public relations!
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