Entrepreneurs need public relations more than ever before
Despite irrefutable evidence of the media’s unprecedented power, there is still a significant proportion of businesses hesitant to engage the services of professional PR agencies. Why? The reasons can be found both in the still uncertain economic situation and the still maturing business culture on the Polish market in general. What arguments are able to convince domestic entrepreneurs to work closely with public relations specialists?
Argument 1. The impact of media on society
The year 1964 – 8 years have passed in Poland since the first TV commercial was aired, yet thinking about marketing, and even more so about the much more nuanced discipline of public relations, is by no means penetrating the public discourse, let alone the business discourse (no wonder, after all the country’s centrally controlled economy is developing at its best). Meanwhile, in Canada, media scholar Marshall McLuhan of the University of Toronto releases his best-known work, Understanding Media. The Extensions of Man. ‘Understanding the media’. Human Extensions”). It is in the pages of this study that the words “The Medium is the Message” are said.
What does it mean for the society, and thus – for consumers? McLuhan argued that the nature of the medium of communication has a greater impact on the recipient than the message itself, thus giving rise to the discussion m.in. about the use of media by commercial brands. As a result, US marketers and communications professionals in particular have begun a whole new chapter in the history of working with entrepreneurs. Businesses in New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, and later London, Paris, and Berlin are initiating increased investments in branded media to communicate more effectively with their target audiences.
How did the recipients themselves react to this? If entrepreneurs started to promote their products or services on their own, the effect could be far from ideal – there was a risk of domination of specialist jargon, unnatural exaggeration, or simply lack of media training. This is why Western business has been establishing cooperation with PR specialists, so that they manage the whole process and the final product (interview, reportage, or review) is produced by experienced journalists. It gave viewers, readers or, in later years, Internet users the feeling that the entrepreneurs’ message was a message of exceptional value. This need – stronger than ever – will also survive until 2022.
Argument 2. Influence of media on business
How else has the new approach to media and consumers affected the strategies of entrepreneurs? Until the popularization of the Internet, only the biggest players could afford to place in TV programs, appear during radio programs, or publish their thoughts in quality press. The entry of the Web has completely changed the rules of media use, and low (and sometimes zero) service costs have made the Internet a relatively egalitarian environment for promoting one’s business. Thus, even small businesses (in theory) could afford to reach their customers quickly and effectively.
Why the short-lived Internet inclusivity episode has not stood the test of time? The short answer is: due to the dynamic development of a relatively new medium and a huge increase in competitiveness. More and more companies – especially large ones – entered the Internet with the idea that similar strategies as those used by television and the press would also work in cyberspace. To some extent they were right, but especially social media have shown conservative businessmen that capital without creative background will not translate into measurable effects.
According to the latest calculations by the Polish Agency for Enterprise Development, exactly 30.3% of. national companies are present on at least one social media platform. This is a result by 7 percentage points. higher than the first PARP analysis from 2016, and actual online activity may include an even higher percentage. SM is primarily relied upon by large companies (63.8%).), which does not mean that companies in the SME segment shun online presence. According to PARP 41 percent. medium-sized enterprises and 26.9 percent. of small enterprises regularly use at least one platform. The key to success? Combining expert knowledge, creative team with cooperation with PR agencies.
Argument 3. The essence of public relations
Both the impact of media on society and business strategies have a common point m.in. in the essence of market public relations. PR, or in the simplest terms, taking care of coherent communication between entrepreneurs and consumers, has become an integral part of the global economy, and investments in credible campaigns bring higher profits every year. According to calculations by analysts at Unilever in London, brands that effectively communicate the purpose of their business are growing by 69 percent. faster than the competition. These indicators confirm m.in. Media Forum clients’ achievements.
Conducting marketing and image-building activities for the largest enterprises, both Polish and foreign, since 1997, Media Forum team has analyzed thousands of cases, which could serve as an accurate picture of contemporary economy. We witnessed how dynamically the media horizon and the approach of Polish business to communicating with customers is changing, and how the lack of real steps towards positioning of one’s message can destroy any business at a frightening pace. Fortunately, cooperation with Media Forum effectively counteracted even the biggest crises of ambitious brands.
This is what public relations is all about – helping businesses find their way in the completely new media reality, which has an even greater impact on reality than ever. It is not an easy art, and even the smallest slip-up may cost the entrepreneurs more than an unreliable contractor or market decline. Image crisis in the XXI century is already synonymous with a huge risk of saying goodbye to commercial activity, but thanks to experienced specialists you can come out of such a situation with a winning hand – in a transparent, reliable and ethical way. These principles also guide the Media Forum team, which has helped businesses in seemingly hopeless situations.
The dynamics of change in the media reality, the enormous technological development, the progressive revolutions in the consumer preference segment, and finally the unprecedented requirement for businesses to adapt exceptionally fast are the challenges to which m.in. public relations agencies. Thanks to communication specialists, entrepreneurs can enter with their activities to the next level of recognition and trust in the eyes of customers without fear of investing their capital without coverage. Yes, PR is one of the best investments in 2022 – and one of the few constants in the 21st century.
Author: Katarzyna Jarczewska – co-owner and managing partner in Media Forum agency specializing in PR and marketing