Just how important is public relations? To businesses it’s vital to staying relevant in a busy, fast-moving world. Most businesses would arguably go out of business without it, especially many of those that operate solely online. PR helps people become closer to the brands and businesses they frequent and makes a huge online world feel that much smaller.
But it does much more than that. I would argue that PR helps calm a crazy, turbulent world for your customers. PR provides them an opportunity to experience the world in an organized, calm manner.
Think that’s a little too over the top? Let’s take a look and tell me if you don’t agree.
Connects a Disconnected World
The vast majority of the world uses the web. Think about that – right now there’s a person on every single continent, in every single country, in every single city, using the web. You could literally hop online and talk to somebody in Antarctica if you tried hard enough.
While that’s exhilarating, it’s also a little terrifying. One of the first times someone described the Internet to me I remember being a little overwhelmed. “No thanks,” I said to them, “I’ll just get lost.” And it wasn’t a joke! Honestly, sometimes I still feel this way.
Your customers do as well. They like to stay in their “corners” of the web – why do you think Facebook became so popular, after all? The more you can convince them that your area is “safe,” that they can hang out there without feeling weird or alone, the better off you’ll be. With such a huge, scary world out there, your PR efforts let them know there are others that like the exact same things they do.
This isn’t even about interacting with you and your business. Again there is just so much info out there on the web that it’s hard to understand what we’re looking at sometimes. It’s strange, because when I first started using the Internet the World Wide Web wasn’t around yet – people primarily met on Bulletin Board Systems (BBS). These BBS’s would typically be a little messy and disorganized, especially compared to today, but they were still a place to come together.
Now, after decades of WWW being the norm, we have so many ways to organize the info we see every day. But at the same time, it’s just as messy as the BBS way of things. If you don’t know where to go you can easily get lost and led astray. Suddenly you’re downloading something you didn’t mean to and your screen’s gone all funny.
How does PR tie into this? In some small way you’re organizing the Internet and the world for your fans and customers. Even if it’s just for you and your company, or your industry, or maybe even the products you sell, you’re showing people how the world works. They now have a grasp on a concept they didn’t before.
In a world that many feel like it’s leaving them behind, this little bit of organization can go a long way. They’ll feel a certain connection with you if you provide this service for them. This could turn into a lifelong fan kind of situation – simply for providing them a bit of humanity in a computer based world.
How else does PR organize the world for your customers? What does it do for you?