/ pr-market / From a successful PR to the positive publicity
31 May 2011
From a successful PR to the positive publicity

According to statistics, the U.S. market of Publiс Relations (PR) employs more than 200 000 professional workers. Moreover - even though the global financial crisis, the industry is considered one of the most dynamic. In all countries, as well as in Ukraine, PR-specialists are in demand both in policy or public interest, and in business.

As for business, there is a need for PR-services in large companies, same as in the middle, including a fairly narrow specialization. Qualitative PR is needed as in a sphere of B2C and for representatives of B2B-segment.

As the investigation "Outsourcing of PR-services: the view of the customer", conducted by IAC «Publicity», showed - 40% of surveyed companies have attracted professional PR-agencies to the PR activity. Why the presence of PR-technologies in the Ukrainian business is so significant? On the one hand, we have already given the answer: PR is needed by everybody. PR is a significant part of marketing communications, which not only builds up a reputation (a value of reputation in the market is difficult to overestimate), but also affects the marketing results and consequently appears on the sales.

On the other hand, the American scientist Fraser P. Seitel claims that the investigation conducted in 1999 in the USA proves a direct correlation between PR-budget of the company and respect and trust that the company gets from the target audience and the general public.

It is clear that without such basic concepts as trust and respect for the company and its products or services, there is nothing to talk about the high position of sales in a competitive environment. Positive publicity - public perception of the company - also means high sales, successful contracts and new investment’s attracting, as well as cheaper credits. The negative publicity of the company can bury her hopes for all the goods mentioned above.

The concept of PR - Publis Relations - has about 500 different interpretations. However, back in 1980, "The group of determiners the value and role of PR», that consisted of the most respected American scholars and specialists in this sphere has proposed two definitions of the term. These definitions are still recognized as base and at the same time precise enough, without arrogant scientism:

1) PR - it is something that helps the organization (company, business structure – B.G.) and interested groups of people (the public, target audience, the internal public – B.G.) to explain and adjust each other. This definition focuses on two-way communication between a particular company, its interests, including business interests - and the audience, the target or internal (employees). Such communication will certainly lead to an understanding on favorable terms to both parties. For the company it means high sales in a competitive environment, motivated personnel working efficient and coherent and a high reputation in the eyes of both external and internal public.

2) PR - this is the organization's activities with the aim to attract people to their side. In this definition the key thesis is to attract people to the side of the company: the company motivates an internal and external public to act as beneficial to it. This motivation is achieved by technology of Public Relations.

Returning to the investigation "Outsourcing PR-services: the customer's point of view," it is worth to be noted that the company, whose representatives were the respondents belonged to two major market segments - Business-to-Business (B2B) and Business-to-Customer (B2C). The fact that PR is a necessity in these segments was confirmed by the table proposed by A.Krylov the Russian specialist in the field of consulting: http://www.reklamodatel.ru/

From the graph it is clear that the main difference between the sectors B2B (vector manufactured goods) and B2C (the vector of consumer goods) is in different volumes of sales tools such as advertising and personal selling. While the amount of PR-technologies is approximately equal in both sectors. It is worth noting that in this case it is primarily the application of technologies to achieve marketing PR results, while strengthening the reputation, a positive attitude towards companies and brands (which do not reach any advertising or direct sales) - refers to a "default".

Thus, in both segments the company's reputation is a very important value. In B2B, where the number of consumers is considerably less than in the B2C sector, it is relevant to determine the reputation of the company and its products from a small target audience and partners. Therefore, even a single failure can ruin the reputation of the entire business because of it, is likely to become known a narrow circle of stakeholders. The company's of B2C sector are not insured off reputational concerns, even the big ones.

For example, a known case when in 1999 from the failure of PR-policy (or rather - because of its non-motivated lack), the company «Coca-Cola» has received significant losses and reputational issues. This happened because of the history of poison with this drink by Belgian teenager: the public was so dissatisfied with the response to corporate management on this occasion that the governments of Belgium, France, the Netherlands, and a number of countries for some time banned the sale of drinks «Coca-Cola», at its territory. Without rational PR at that time the company has lost during a quarter of a year 60 million dollars, and the value of its shares at the time has decreased significantly. Experts argue that a deliberate PR-strategy in this situation would help minimize losses.
«Coca-Cola» is one of the largest corporations in the world, but medium-sized companies especially need a professional public relations according to the extent of their problems, and marketing budgets.
In the Ukrainian reality this statement is even more important, thanks to some additional factors: the unsaturated market with high quality and professional public relations services, therefore, in PR there is great potential for development, and for professional agencies - the high competitive advantages. In addition, PR-budget is more economical than advertising, while the benefits from the use of PR communications could be much greater (of course, if the project falls into the hands of experienced professionals). Thus effective PR campaigns can integrate marketing and reputational direction.

Among the services of PR for business, there are in demand today: public relations for start-ups and for output to the market and/or promoting new brands, companies, brands. Experts say that is particularly relevant pr-campaign for regional brands looking to reach the national level, as well as public relations for corporations and holding companies. PR services that help to attract investments are also on the demand.

No accidently there were mentioned PR professionals. According to the survey, the majority of Ukrainian companies have a positive experience of cooperation with the PR-agencies (56%), and only 7% had negative experiences involving PR-outsourcers. From the responses of those respondents it can be concluded that the main reasons deterring Ukrainian professional PR market is on the one hand, the duration of the financial crisis in many markets, which significantly limits the budgets for marketing and PR, and on another hand - unmotivated passivity of the companies in attracting outsourcers, often explained by lack of demand for large-scale reality, PR-campaigns.
The advantages of professional PR-agencies before own PR-departments of companies became obvious today. The undoubted fact is that the professional PR-agency is able to carry out large volumes of work more quickly and efficiently, it has established contacts in the media, public organizations, can attract skilled professionals, etc. Op technology for years, charts the construction of positive publicity, creating vivid information events, a harmonious combination of different channels, forms and tools in integrated projects, creativity - all this attracts more and more customers to cooperate with professional PR companies.

Indeed, if any business project needs PR now, regardless of size, budget and specifications, PR-activities should be assigned only to proven professionals to achieve tangible marketing and reputation results.


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