Public relations is all too often an afterthought in a business’ marketing budget.  Why spend time and resources on PR?  Here are a few telltale signs that you need to invest in public relations.

1. Your competition continues to pop up in the headlines. When your main competitors keep showing up in articles, blogs, and on the nightly news, and your company is left out, it may be time to do a bit of media outreach.  Media personnel form relationships with companies and individuals.  If you continue to see your competitors pop up in the news, it may be simply because the media doesn’t know your company exists, or they don’t know that you are interested in participating in news stories, or they don’t know how to get in touch.  Publicity is a valuable marketing tool and forming relationships with journalists is the first step to get your company in the headlines.

2. Your company is going through a rebrand, merger, or acquisition.  If your company is going through a major change, you need to let the public know about it!  You have an opportunity and responsibility to make sure your audience understands the reasons and benefits for the change.  How will your merger affect them as consumers? Does your rebrand mean your service offerings will be different? Make sure this information is clearly stated and easy to find.

3. You have been misrepresented in the media.  Did your restaurant receive a bad review?  Did your company get involved in a legal battle?  Sometimes you need to share your side of the story and set the record straight.  An immediate response to negative media coverage is the best way to clear your name and help the public understand that there are two sides to every story.

4. You want to be known as an expert in your field.  Whether your company is the best creator of widgets or you are the primary expert on unicycles, no one will know about you and your expertise if you don’t tell them.  Offer yourself to the media as an expert on your subject matter.  Look for speaking opportunities.  Participate in forums.  Sharing your expertise and making your voice heard is an important part of PR.

If any of these examples speaks to you or your company, you might want to invest in a public relations campaign.  Even if these examples don’t apply to you, it is always a good idea to act proactively so that you have laid the groundwork and begun building relationships with the media should any of these scenarios arise in the future.  PR is a very important tool in your marketing arsenal; tell the world about the amazing things you are doing.  We can’t wait to hear about your impact!