Research: Does PR strategy influence business success?

Uncategorized Vlada

There are both supporters and opponents of promoting business through PR. Is it possible to achieve a significant increase in brand awareness with the help of a small team and modest resources? We tried to answer this question through the research.

We conducted a small study on the topic of how PR strategies influence the work of companies. To do this, we interviewed more than a hundred companies, which were asked whether they use any PR strategies in their work and, if so, how they evaluate KPIs and how much their sales increased. After that, we processed all the answers and that’s what we got.

The number of opponents and supporters of the PR strategy turned out to be almost identical: 45% confirmed that their company uses a PR strategy, and 54% said that they do without it. The data varies depending on the size of the companies:

  • among companies with less than 50 employees, 75% use a PR strategy;
  • among companies from 50 to 100 employees, 80% work without PR support;
  • among companies with more than 100 employees, their answers split almost equally.

Companies in the niches of B2C services and e-commerce services tend to use the PR strategy. IT companies, telecom operators and financial micro-organizations pay the least attention to PR.

The key goal of our research was to answer whether the PR strategy gives any noticeable results in increasing sales of goods.  We surveyed companies using PR strategies how much their sales grew over the past year, their responses were divided as follows:

  • half of the companies did not  feel any changes at all or there were some small changes. They do not associate increased sales with the implementation of a PR strategy, but a certain correlation is present.
  • the other half of the companies claimed that their sales increased significantly, and they attributed it to the PR strategy.

What conclusions can be drawn from all this?

Given that opinions are almost evenly divided, it is impossible to say for sure that the PR strategy is the exact magic wand that  will definitely increase sales in any business. There is a certain correlation related, in our opinion, to the fact that some companies are better managed than others. The presence of a PR strategy, by the way, may indicate that more professional leadership works in the company.

PR-strategies, as a rule, are used by either very small or quite large companies. This is primarily due to the fact that small ones do not have large budgets and are forced to save, and therefore pay more attention to their presence on the Internet.  Large companies are simply trying to master every aspect of business promotion, so the presence of a PR strategy is explained by their status.

Interestingly, IT and financial organizations have enough resources to develop PR strategies, but most often do not do it,  although they would seem to need it.

We also asked those using PR strategies to give recommendations to those who believe that PR won’t make a significant difference. We summarized their tips as follows:

  1. Determine what kind of information about your company you’re going to broadcast to your audience and discuss this with your staff. It would be advisable for your PR manager to find out specific groups of the target audience. This allows you to understand which channels of communication with the audience are most relevant for you. Formulate the company’s message, come up with a good name for your products and some value propositions. The manager and the PR manager should ideally work together on it, but the task of the latter consists in setting up correctly all the working tools and ensuring that the information reaches the addressee.
  2. Create more newsworthy events. This topic gives a lot of space for imagination: you can arrange tastings and test drives of your products or even organize a conference with the invited mass media. And most importantly, you need to have an interesting news story, because the mass media depend on the interests of their readers and are often too lazy to come up with something interesting – the most effective way is to write a draft of the article for them yourself.
  3. Track the presence of your company in the information field. Search for publications and references to yourself, register on portals that can be useful to you, and interact with the audience there. Try to get into the rankings. Read and respond to all the clients of your customers and partners, all this is important for your image on the Internet.
  4. Build two-way communication with your audience. Encourage people to contact you and make questions about your products. To do this, use such tools as email newsletters, game mechanics, contests, and prizes. According to statistics, the main reason why clients leave your company is that they don’t get enough attention. The PR manager must be involved in building this communication. Visitors are more likely to become your clients if they see the desire of the company to spend some time on them. The company openness is a very attractive quality for any business and one of the main assets that can be monetized.

If you decide to try a PR strategy, go ahead and don’t forget that the most important part of PR is the first stage where you come up with all the messages. Pay enough attention to this stuff and good luck.