The contributions of public relations to the bottom line has always been in contention by many industry players.
PR and for that matter, communication must ensure that an origination’s offering gets to the audience and influence their patronage. The role of public relations is not only to create a favorable image for a company, but PR can also contribute to increasing sales volumes and hence contributing to the bottom line.
According to Vivian Hamilton, Accredited Public Relations practitioner (APR) of Hamilton Public Relations: “You cannot expect your message to get there (to your publics) by osmosis”. Taking a cue from the AIDA’s model, I want to share how PR can contribute to sales. Here are some ways:
Awareness: A consumer or prospect reads a story and becomes aware that the product and/ or company exist. In modern times, with the evolution of social media, this can be achieve at no or little cost. This step is particularly important in the development of new companies that don’t have a lengthy history or strong consumer following. Awareness creations is also the first step in the branding equity model.
Interest: A consumer reads another story and, as a result, becomes interested in learning more. Alternatively, the consumer hears about the story from someone who read it firsthand. His interest has begun to grow and he now wants to know more about the product and your company.
Action: Another story might prompt the consumer to ask a friend about the product or to do some research about it on the internet, or perhaps the story generates from another reporter at another publication. (Reporters read other
publications to look for story ideas) as Ingran Thomas (2002) states that
another part of public relations is the publicity gained through magazines.
Understanding: The consumer reads another story or studies his internet research to begin to understand how the product might help his life or business.
Advocating: As the company’s publicity continues to grow, the consumer reads yet another story and begins to discuss with colleagues, friends, and family members his intent to buy the product.
Buying: The next story prompts the consumer to purchase the product. At this step, the consumer has high expectations for the product. He anticipates that his experience with the product will match the flattering stories he has read. (Indeed, although the media is often criticized for being biased or inaccurate, most of us believe I the journalism we read and watch).
Judging: The consumer uses the product and judges whether it was all the stories said it was. If it’s not, then the process shifts into reverse. The customer returns the products, tells friends and colleagues that it was a failure, feels that he’s been duped and might take action against the company by writing letters to the media or giving an interview to a reporter that is highly critical of the product.
At any step along the way, an unflattering media story can derail the process of building consumers’ interest. A consumer might be ready to buy your product or an investor might be willing to devote some capital to your company, but until he completes that transaction, he is likely to change his mind if he reads some bad press.
These seven steps show how overlapping public relations initiatives can encourage consumer to test new products. However, the steps also demonstrate how public relations can work against a product or company that fails to live up to its stories. When reality doesn’t match a company’s public relations, the company develops a reputation for hype that will hurt its future publicity efforts.
Reporters who believe that a company misled them into writing a puff piece won’t cover your next development or, even worse, they even improving customer relationship management in banking with integrated delivery channels.
Dr. Ike Tandoh is a management consultant and holds Ph.D in marketing communications. He is the founder and lead management consultant for 1PR Communications. 1PR Communications is dedicated to providing quality training and management support services to organizations and Individuals that seeks to attain excellence and develop their brands. He is also an adjunct lecturer at Blue Crest University. Email:[email protected] Tel: 0501278530