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Public relations more important than ever?

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In the old days (24 months ago) a well-managed small retail business could invest in a frequent and consistent advertising campaign aimed at key prospects (or a killer location). With a good business plan and lots of hard work, the enterprise could – in time – probably generate enough customers to turn a profit.

Now, consumers have more power than ever, but are generally spending less money. They’re carefully choosing their financial transactions – even when, where, and how often to purchase a tall latte.

Businesses are competing for fewer customers who will consistently spend more money. A loyal clientele these days may be more coveted than high traffic volume.

Seth Godin wrote on his blog this week:

When you find a service or establishment or product that gives you joy, it’s tempting to keep it to yourself. Perhaps it’s uncomfortable to recommend it to a friend (after all, you might seem silly) and even more uncomfortable to recommend it to a stranger (after all, you might seem like a shill).

Godin is specifically addressing the consumer side of using communications to support a favorite business. But what if we – as public relations professionals – could help a business understand the necessity for creating a consistent experience for the customer? So that the client is so excited and enthused about the service or product that he or she can’t help but run out the door raving about the company and how whatever it does is either life-changing, enjoyable, affordable, or essential.

At every level of business – marketing, financing, managing, procuring, servicing – is a common thread. Communications.

Could it be that public relations is the key to connecting all of these elements and helping a business thrive?

Comments? Please.

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Written by Tracy Winchell

December 3, 2008 at 9:07 pm

One Response

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  1. I think you’re exactly right, Tracy. Our craft, practiced at its most effective level facilitates _relationships_ between organizations and their stakeholders. The best relationships compel us to interact with our partner; to listen, learn, respond, adapt, and ultimately to support and promote. The most effective communicators are at the heart of that process.

    Ed Nicholson, APR

    December 4, 2008 at 8:16 am


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