Why Bother With PR?
With a difficult financial climate, rising costs of living, and what seems like less help from financial lenders, many business owners are looking for ways to reduce spending. Public relations, or PR, refers to the active management of communications between a business or organisation, and the public and its customers. PR is one thing that may companies can overlook when under pressure, particularly because ignoring it can sometimes appear to have no immediate drawbacks. This is one of the common dangers with not valuing the importance of not only how well your business is communicating to your customers, but more importantly, how your customers are responding to your products and communications themselves.
Company directors can far too often fall into the trap of assuming that customers think in the same way that they do. This is particularly dangerous when is come to developing and marketing new products and services, and can have potentially devastating results. This is precisely where a healthy appreciation for good PR for your business comes into play. By monitoring and maintaining good communication between your customers and your business you can not only avoid making bad business decisions, but also glean invaluable information about how your customers view your products and services, what they like and don’t like, and what changes would make a big difference to them.
In the current economic climate it’s arguable that a strong appreciation for PR within your business is one of the things that will help steer you through the recovery. It will help you designate resources and attention where you’ll see the highest ROI and hopefully also encourage your team in the areas that you are getting right. Even better, if you’re a small to medium sized business it may not be necessary to delegate a member of your team solely to PR, or pay for in-house training, although both of those would no doubt be beneficial; a culture of good PR and an awareness and concern for customer satisfaction should be a vital component of every member of your team, and this is an important principle to direct at the heart of your organisation.
Nowadays there are many fantastic PR tools available to help both small and large businesses measure customer satisfaction levels in an easy way, without annoying the customer. The balance between frustrating the customer with relentless surveys or feedback forms can have the opposite effect than the intended. The goal is to collate valuable data either about customer satisfaction levels related to a specific product or campaign or about the company and its services in general and in doing so make the customer feel valued and appreciated. One very easy and rewarding way of doing this is to use an online customer thermometer tool that you can tailor to create unique feedback campaigns. PR software such as customer thermometer tools allow you to send a simple e-mail to each of your customers asking their opinion of something. They then have the option of choosing (typically) four responses, and with the click of a button they can provide you with the data you need without it being taxing or bothersome. Equally, since this is a digital form of data collection, results can be easily collated and presented in meaningful graphs and charts that you can use to feedback to your directors – keeping everyone happy ad in the loop.