Public Relations (PR) is a crucial element in any business today. It is through PR that brands establish their characters in the minds of their target markets. And a favourable character often translates into favourable sales figures. So it is absolutely necessary for companies to ensure that their PR strategies are always functioning. This means that when a strategy loses its salt, it has to go. But how do you know when it’s time for a change?
Time Has Passed
If you have been in business for a while now (a few years or so), a number of your business elements are likely to be due a review by one. One of those elements is your PR strategy. Over time, a strategy may become outdated and less effective which means if you keep using them you will lose touch with your target market. The market too may change requiring something different or new and in order to remain relevant your brand needs to reflect that change as well. But in addition to the passage of time, there are some clues that should warn you that it is time for a new PR strategy.
Your Brand Has Changed
Time and policy adjustments may lead to fundamental changes in your brand. Perhaps the product lineup has changed- a product has been added or removed or the product or service has evolved. Or perhaps there has been a merger with another brand. Changes like these affect the way the target market views your brand. In some instances you may need to convince your target market that you remain committed to your old values or that you are adjusting them. These changes need to be reflected in your PR strategy as well.
You’re Losing Touch With Your Target Market
You can tell that you’re losing touch with your target market if you’re web traffic numbers have been declining, or your social media visits and posts have been trending down. Sometimes the target market will tell you in no uncertain terms that they can’t relate to your brand anymore. Careful analysis of the length and nature of social media posts submitted by existing and prospective customers will speak volumes in this regard. You could also seek out these answers via polls and surveys that ask specific questions such as ‘How do you feel about this brand?’ and ‘Would you recommend this brand to your friends and family?’ to see where the brand stands in the consumers’ minds.
Your Sales Figures Are Trending Down
If your sales figures have been falling it could be due to several things, one of them being that your target market has become disconnected from your brand. Most industries today are pretty competitive with companies operating on a global scale rather than national, thanks to the evolution in ICT and shipping options. This means that your brand needs to stand out and captivate the audience if your sales figures are to reflect growth. And of course, with many options literally at their fingertips customers will lean towards buying from brands that have an impact on them.
Undoubtedly, change is an inevitable force for any business venture. But the way a business handles change could be the difference between failure and success. And one of the keys to securing success is maintaining a relevant PR strategy. In order to ensure that your PR strategy remains consistently effective you need to constantly evaluate it to see if it still having the desired impact. This is a best practice that will ensure that you maintain your core market base while attracting new customers.
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