Over years & years, hundreds of highly respected professionals and educators have developed comprehensive and often complicated descriptions of what makes for effective corporate communications. There have been heated discussions regarding the separation of public relations from advertising, public relations from marketing, and the very role public relations should play within the organization.
It should be started slowly by taking small steps. Public relations are a service and support function, not a policy direction activity. Marketing and PR firm in Austin need to advise and assist in branding activities online and offline. They need to become involved in assisting purchasing, HR, sales activities, face to face encounter training, trade show activities, web activities including customer service/customer support, and other efforts that involve the company’s brand franchise and the organization’s bottom line results.
Too frequently PR people waste their efforts because they are so busy practicing public relations, but they forget their primary mission. Effective public relations are much like a three-legged stool:
*Understanding the company’s anchor value,
*Understanding the customer value propositions, and
*Understanding the marketplace positioning of the products or services.
Understanding the three legs will help the company better benefit from sales, profits and other long-term returns. Those three terms are briefly explained below.
Company’s Anchor Value:
The company’s anchor values should control and guide every strategic and tactical PR activity. From the day it opens its doors, every firm is based on specific purposeful and fundamental values that highlights the company’s strategic ambition, direction and plan for the future.
Without a good understanding of these values, it is impossible for public relations to honestly and effectively deliver for the company. Without a clear understanding of what the company is trying to achieve, public relations simply goes through the motions. But by being on the same wavelength, PR and management can ensure the right basic message is always delivered, that it is delivered to and through the right channels, and that it achieves the desired impact and objective.
It is a mixture of your motives, values and how you see your own personal competence.
Customer Value Propositions:
The second leg of a sound PR program is to clearly understand what the anchor values mean to the consuming public. This means you have to translate the company’s values into general and product/service-specific customer values and benefits.
All too frequently PR people tend to list the tangible, technical and functional benefits and stop. The focus is a one way stream from the company to the marketplace, rather than giving the effort to understand and project this information in consumer terms.
In the business world, customer value is the amount of benefit that a customer will get from a service or product relative to its cost. Some businesspeople explain customer value as realization compared to sacrifice. Realization is a formal term for what customers get out of their purchases. Sacrifice is what they pay for the product or service.
Businesses of all sizes use customer value as part of a greater analysis to determine how well they are supplying their customer base. Detailed research might include what customers generally do with the products they receive, or how they use services to increase the value of assets like real estate. Businesses also look at the prices of their products in order to price them competitively.
Businesses that identify the value of their wares to customers might go a step further and consider other similar ideas. In order to generate more thought about customer value, and to reach out to a customer base, a business might promote a customer value proposition.
Consumer value is one of the latest ways in which marketers have sought to analyze customer satisfaction. Customer satisfaction is important because it leads to repeat purchases.
The third leg of the PR program is product/service positioning, which will vary from market segment to market segment.
Positioning is defined as the act of designing the company’s offering and image to occupy a distinctive place in the target market’s mind.
In marketing positioning has come to mean the process by which marketers try to create an image or identity in the minds of their target market for its product, brand, or organization.
*Positioning is a final step in the segmentation targeting and positioning step.
*Positioning requires a holistic approach and is one of the most useful tools for marketers.
*Positioning is almost completely about perception. How the customer perceives your product or brand is what positioning is all about. Thus the best mass marketers like to use marketing tactics which touch the whole market, example – Vodafone Zoo zoos.
*Perceptual mapping is generally used to determine the positioning of a product in the target market.
*Positioning can make or break a brand. A rightly perceived product / company get lots of returns from the market as compared to a wrongly perceived company.
Positioning is a powerful tool that allows you to create an image. And image is the outward representation of being who you want to be, doing what you want to do, and having what you want to have. Positioning yourself can lead to personal fulfillment. Being positioned by someone else restricts your choices and limits your opportunities.
Positioning is a perceptual location. It’s where your product or service fits into the marketplace. Effective positioning puts you first in line in the minds of potential customers.