Public Relations vs. sales has been an ongoing discussion among corporate America, CEOs, and marketing experts, seemingly, forever. PR is to establish and maintain a company’s positive reputation. But, let’s look deeper.
Businesses depend on sales to provide the revenues needed to generate a profit. Both functions are necessary to ensure a business’s long-term survival. While sales and public relations go hand-in-hand, there are also some key differences between the two important roles. Public Relations is a powerful way to enhance brand credibility in the eyes of sales prospects and customers. Once that credibility is achieved, it is very difficult for the competition to overcome.
Either write something worth reading or do something worth reading about.
– Benjamin Franklin
Sales involve the exchange of goods or services for monetary compensation. A business may employ a team of salespeople for prospecting new clients. In retail, customers go to a location to purchase the merchandise for sale or sell directly to the consumer through their website.
However, Public Relations is the process of developing and maintaining a positive image in the minds of the general public. Some companies may have a public relations specialist on staff or may enlist the services of a third-party public relations firm. A good PR expert, regardless of where they reside, will utilize their relationships with the media to spread key messaging about the company and make that product or service viable.
While sales tend to be tangible, public relations is more intangible in nature. Sales are easily measurable, as they generate a specific dollar value for the organization. On the other hand, public relations focuses on the perception and the achievement of a company such as the development of goodwill. A strong PR professional will take this perception and monetize it through continuous positive PR momentum, which helps to increase Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and keeps the brand or company top of mind – especially online. Thought leadership and positive brand awareness turn into tangible results. When the company is in the spotlight in a positive way it deters the competition.
When comparing public relations vs, advertising, it is very easy to determine the value of an earned feature story in The Wall Street Journal rather than just placing an advertisement. PR can generate interest primarily because of the medium, news stories by their very nature are more credible than advertisements. With the proliferation of online ads, the average consumer is bombarded with marketing messages all day long. Most of the ads are unfortunately ignored. The power of the press means that the stories will capture your attention. When done right, positive public relations establish its business initiatives clearly and differentiates itself from the competition, this, in turn, drives the sales needed to attain long-term viability.
Public Relations vs. Sales
Stories in the press that play on the themes of an event, scarcity, herd mentality, and prestige can create desire. Desire creates sales. Effective PR utilizes the following tactics:
- Case studies or testimonials. A reporter always wants to know who is using your product.
- Benefits over features. Spending too much time on features is a common mistake. People care about what benefit your company or product is offering them.
- Solve a problem or address their fear. The flip side to benefits is alleviating fear.
- Snowball effect. Good press will lead to more good press.
Strong Public Reactions =Visibility and Marketing= Sales. They go hand in hand. Yet it is proven that the power of positive public perception — and thus brand loyalty — creates demand. And demand through PR creates higher sales margins than sales alone.